Manipur Church organisations condemn burial denial incident

August 14, 2017 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

New Delhi, August 14, 2017: Various Christian organisations from Northeast region of India have condemned the inhumane act of denial of burial plot for a Catholic woman in Leingangching village in Ukhrul district, Manipur.

For the last six days, the mortal remains of Rita Haorei have lain unburied as Leingangching village authorities have denied a plot for burial, insisting that it is a Baptist Christian village. The late woman’s family and four other families and were forcefully evicted out of the village in 2010 because they converted to Catholic faith.

The Tangkhul Christian Fellowship Delhi (TCFD), a conglomeration of all denominations, strongly protested against this intolerance in Tangkhul society, which embraced Christianity more than a century ago.

“The fellowship is anguished and burdened by the unchristian act of denying a dignified burial to a fellow Christian’s dead body. Such despicable act can only serve to belittle the foundations of Christ’s teachings,” said TCFD statement.

“The Fellowship is of the view that having parochial tenets of “One village one Religion/Denomination” negates the very principles of secular, democratic and progressive society,” it said, adding that the “denial of decent burial to a fellow human being reflects the utter disregard and disrespect for the basic and inherent human dignity and rights.”

Worso Zimik, TCFD Chairman, said it is also a call to every prudent Tangkhul community member to transcend “the narrow domestic walls” that has engulfed our society.

“That instead of upholding Christian values of tolerance, brotherhood, sorority and mutual respect, the recent incident at Leingangching has revealed the ugly face of the monster in us,” read the statement.

The Northeast Catholic Community of Delhi (NECCOD) expressed its shock and pain at the inhuman behaviour, wherein the deceased was denied honourable burial in her own land simply because she converted to another Christian denomination.

“This inhuman behaviour and gross violation of basic human rights is not only condemnable, but it has shamed and tarnishes the image of all Christians. In a time when building Christian unity and brotherhood is gaining ground through Ecumenical and inter-religious dialogues, such incidents of dividing people on the basis of their religious practices and denomination by so called Christian leaders is most unfortunate and poses huge challenge to the unity among people,” said the statement.

Sectarian provisions in our village constitutions such as those based on narrow idea of “One village one religion/denomination” that are in contravention to human dignity and rights must be discouraged and disowned by one and all, said Dr. Philip Thanglianmang, NECCOD President.

All Manipur Christian Organization, Joint Peace Mission Team of Northeast India and Tangkhul Christian Fellowship Bangalore also appealed for peaceful conclusion and asked the concerned village to generously and benevolently allow for the burial as desired by the deceased’s family.

– ani

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