NewsWorldRights Groups Alarmed Over Arrest of Christians in Nepal

Rights Groups Alarmed Over Arrest of Christians in Nepal

-

Several rights groups denounced the recent arrest of four Christians in Nepal for allegedly converting people to Christianity.

Nepal police arrested two men and two women, including an American woman, from Hotel Doko in Ghorahi on April 23, 2019 as part of the government’s campaign against evangelism, reports Pakistan Christian Post.

Respect the right of all religious minorities to practice their faith or belief through worship, observation, teaching, and practice. —Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive, Christian Solidarity Worldwide

The Christians’ hotel room was searched and their belongings were confiscated, including their Bibles, cash and laptops. They were in Ghorahi, 261 miles from the capital, Kathmandu, for a one-day Christian conference for pastors which was also attended by 70 other believers.

Police detained Pastor Dilli Ram Poudel, 49, general secretary of the Nepal Christian Society; Gaurav Shrivastava, 34; Kunsang Tamang, a Nepali woman from Sankhuwasabha District; and Oleana Cinquanta, 49, from Colorado, USA, reports Morning Star News.

Cinquanta was already deported to the USA. She denied the allegations against them and disclosed that they were not distributing Bibles or money at the event.

“I was visiting a church program in Dang with my travel agent and some friends,” she said. “No one was engaging in conversion.”

Christian leader Pratik Bista argued that, “How is it a crime for a Christian to carry his Bible, and how is it a crime for an American to carry dollars when visiting a foreign country?” He criticized how the government treats Christians as ‘bad’ individuals.

Under Nepalese law, proselytizing and conversion are criminal offenses and punishable by jail time of up to five years and a fine of up to $440.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has called on police authorities to drop all charges and release the Christians. Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, Nepal must “respect the right of all religious minorities to practice their faith or belief through worship, observation, teaching, and practice.”

The Christian advocacy group criticized Nepal’s Section 158 of the Penal Code since it limits an individual’s religious freedom and is being used by others to persecute Christians and other religious minorities.

Nepal is a predominantly Hindu country with Christians only comprising 1% of the country’s 30 million population. In addition to the daily hardships faced by Christians from radical Hindu groups, the government makes it more difficult for them to practice their faith.

Sources said the government doesn’t issue permits to Christian groups wanting to put up a church. Also, when the South Asian nation experienced a deadly earthquake in 2015, the government prioritized the rebuilding of mosques, temples, and shrines, but not Christian churches.

Christian anti-persecution charity Open Doors ranked Nepal as the 32nd country in the world where it is illegal to be a Christian. It revealed that the government didn’t support the persecution against Christians before, but after the implementation of the new Constitution in 2015, religious freedom has been restricted.

Joyce Dimaculangan
Joyce has more than 15 years experience writing news, industry articles and blogs for the private and public sectors. Most of her career was spent writing technical documentation for a software company in the Philippines. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. During her leisure time, Joyce pursues her interest in reading fiction and playing with her dogs. She can be contacted at Joyce@onechristianvoice.com.

Latest news

Jeremy Camp doesn’t write songs for radio: I want to ‘connect with the heart’

For 20 years, Jeremy Camp’s life has been one of touring and writing songs … and then touring and...

Minno is the new streaming platform for Christian kids — and it’s excellent

I deleted Disney Plus from my television the other day -- much to the consternation of my 9-year-old daughter. She...

Newsboys say they will tour until they are 80: We are just getting started!

Michael Tait says he’s spent most of his life “on the road” while traveling in a bus from city...

Faith Leaders Demand Climate Action

Heads of Christian denominations in the UK joined other faith leaders in demanding urgent action from governments to address the climate crisis the world is facing right now.

Korean Christians to Join Anti-Abortion Campaign

Christians in South Korea will join a 40-day global campaign to end abortion in the country.

Christian Ministries Send Help to Louisiana

Christian ministries have been sending help to Louisiana after Hurricane Ida hit the south and destroyed several cities and states.

Must read

Jeremy Camp doesn’t write songs for radio: I want to ‘connect with the heart’

For 20 years, Jeremy Camp’s life has been one...

Minno is the new streaming platform for Christian kids — and it’s excellent

I deleted Disney Plus from my television the other...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you