Choosing Own Religion Seals Fate Of Manipuri Families

In some places in Manipur, Christians are confronted with violent discrimination. Mercy,one of our boldest Community Correspondent, comes from Manipur, a state that has been in the grip of a violent insurgency for years, She is never afraid of covering any issue, unfazed by the adverse conditions she faces. She has a strong sense of her mission as a Community Correspondent. It is this urge to report and document injustice that, inspite of threats and danger of incurring the anger of the community, led her to cover the incidents in a Manipuri village, which she prefers not to name, In this village, three tribal families have converted to Christianity. Since then, their life has turned into a nightmare. They have been banned from any interaction with the rest of the village. They are not allowed to talk with other villagers, even with those who used to be close friends. They are also barred from buying goods from the local shop. They have been completely ostracized. As a consequence, the families have been surviving with great difficulty. Adding to that, they had to suffer insults meted out to them by other villagers. Yet, they courageously declared to Mercy that they were ready to bear this treatment, because they believe in their right to choose the religion they want to follow. And indeed, this right is officially granted to every Indian citizen. But in practice, discrimination of all sorts along with cases of violence are common. Stepping out of one community and an ascribed identity is still difficult in contemporary India. The families met by Mercy are paying a high price for their conversion to Christianity. Mercy hopes that her video, by revealing what these families undergo, should spark some mobilization, and ultimately bring changes in their lives.

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