Hundreds of young people from across Arunachal Pradesh in India prayed for peace and forgiveness in Manipur, another state in northeastern India that recently witnessed unprecedented ethnic violence.
Leading the candle-lit prayer for peace at the Divine Renewal Retreat Centre, Margherita, Assam, on May 14, Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao appealed to the youth to become messengers of peace and forgiveness.
“What we have witnessed in Manipur is nothing less than what has happened in Ukraine. In this tragic moment of pain and uncertainty, we need to stand united and spread the message of peace across Manipur and in the region,” said the Salesian prelate, who is also the chairman of the Youth Commission of North East India Regional Bishops’ Council.
Ethnic violence that began on May 3 across Manipur has claimed more than 70 lives and wounded 200 people. According to an official record, some 30,000 people have been displaced.
“The victims of any form of violence are always innocent. We express our solidarity with the families affected and we pray that peace and normalcy returns to Manipur soon. We also appeal to each of you to extend your helping hand to support the people affected,” said the bishop
Having spent weeks in temporary shelters in military camps, many have fled the state to safety across the country.
Speaking at the prayer meet, Taw Tebin, the president of Arunachal Pradesh Catholic Association, said to the youth, “I appeal each of you to keep your eyes and ears open to guard yourselves from the divisive forces that are scheming to create division and polarization on ethnic and religious lines in our state.”
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