The All Manipur Christian Organisation (AMCO) has condemned the demolition of three churches at Tribal Colony, Imphal, in the early hours of April 11, 2023. The affected churches are the Evangelical Baptist Convention Church (EBCC), Holy Spirit Catholic Church, and Manipur Evangelical Lutheran Church.
In a press communique, AMCO condemned the demolition of the churches, which were dismantled on the pretext that they had been constructed on government land. The organisation expressed its disappointment that the government had chosen to resort to demolition instead of regularisation, relocation or removal of such structures, as instructed by the Supreme Court.
The Manipur Policy for review of unauthorised construction of religious nature on public parks, public places, etc. 2010 was framed in accordance with the Supreme Court's directive. The State Cabinet approved a proposal for the regularisation of 188 religious structures in five districts on October 11, 2011, which were subsequently regularised on October 27, 2011. However, not a single church or Christian worship place was included in the regularisation.
AMCO criticised the discriminatory decision of the government and called upon all churches and denominations in Manipur to co-operate and share the grief and sorrow of their brethren in Tribal Colony, Imphal. The organisation urged people to uphold the noble ideals of secularism enshrined in the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion, belief, faith and worship to every citizen of India.
In its press communique, AMCO reiterated its commitment to upholding the spirit of love, care, and fraternity amongst the people of Manipur, regardless of caste, creed, or religion. The organisation called upon everyone to withhold the affected churches in their prayers at this critical juncture.
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