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06/12/2022 India (International Christian Concern) – Early in the morning on June 5, a bomb exploded on the premises of a Catholic school in the Indian state of Manipur. Fortunately, no one was injured, and the bomb only damaged portions of the school building. The blast prompted school staff and students to hold a “sit-in” protest on June 6, demanding greater security from the government to make the school a “violence-free zone.”  The outcry continued on June 7, when all Catholic schools in Manipur shut down to escalate the protest. The All Manipur Catholic Union joined with the protestors’ demands, stating, “If education institutions are not safe, the very foundation of society is under threat.”

Police acted quickly after receiving a tip on June 6, arresting the man likely responsible for the school bombing. The man was found with 58 PEK explosive sticks, 397 detonators, and two batteries, along with other materials. When questioned, the suspect claimed that he had been paid 30,000 rupees for the bombing and was a member of the National Revolutionary Front of Manipur, a socialist separatist organization with the goal of establishing a socialist state in Manipur. The suspect is also reportedly responsible for other recent explosive attacks as well. Over the past month, the number of bombings in the state overall has notably increased, prompting the state’s chief minister to hold a cabinet meeting to deliberate on the problem.

These attacks only add to the security concerns confronting Christians in India, who face significant persecution as a religious minority in the country. The US State Department’s report on international religious freedom revealed that persecution in India only worsened in 2021. While the complicit Indian government has denied evidence of the persecution, the mistreatment of Christians has only become more severe in 2022. We pray for the protection of India’s Christian community in these trying times.

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