Vanvasis of Langthabal Khoupum village in Manipur, about 10 km from the state capital Imphal, have urged the President, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to protect them from the growing onslaught of Church and its unnecessary interference in their internal activities. These Vanvasis are followers of the Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak, an indigenous Zeliangrong way of worship.
In a moving appeal sent to all these dignitaries, Vanvasis have alleged that a Christian Joint Action Committee comprising three churches-Rongmei Naga Baptist Association, Rongmei Baptist Churches Fellowship and People'sBible Ministry led by one Rev. Khanglen-unnecessarily interfere in the functioning of the village pei (village court), which had forced a village woman and her family to vacate the village. She is alleged to have a criminal and anti-social background. The family had accepted the decision of the village pei but the Church bodies later allegedly converted the family into Christianity and are now defending them by manipulating and misinterpreting the provision of freedom of religion. With the alleged active support of Manipur Pubic Works Department Minister, Gaikha-ngngam Gangmei, who is also a Christian, the Church bodies have now been repeatedly harassing the villagers through police and unidentified persons claiming to be members of the NSCN-K outfit. They have been threatening the village pei to revoke its verdict and allow the village woman and her family to continue to live in the village.
“This senseless attitude of giving shelter to criminals and anti-socials by certain Church workers presents a very un-Christian outlook. This reckless misadventure, if unchecked, will encourage many unwanted characters to become bolder as they can find ready asylum in the willing arms of Christian workers who value quantity over quality,” the appeal said.