CSW

Christians in Nepal face new levels of persecution

Thu 04 Jul 2019
By Heather Preston

A growing number of Christians are facing persecution in Nepal, as Hindu extremists call for the country to return to a Hindu state.

Persecution towards Christians rose considerably in the region after the Nepalese government introduced anti-conversion laws in 2017, and made the decision to limit freedom of religion.

Religious freedom charity Open Doors said it's becoming harder for Christians in Nepal to practise their faith: "Any Christian talking about Christianity can be falsely accused of converting now, and there are several such incidents taking place."

 

The charity has seen Nepal rise to number 32 on it's World Watch List of persecuted Christians and has reported a number of recent incidents, including the demolition of a church building and an attack on a Christian run hospital.

"Batase Prayer Tower was demolished earlier this month," the charity said in a statement.

"It was built in the area of government forest. The authorities destroyed it suddenly, without any prior notice. They didn't even allow anyone to take pictures or videos."

The charity also reported that Ananda Ban Hospital, run by Christian NGO, 'The Leprosy Mission' was stormed by Shiv Sena Nepal (a political party in Nepal) last week.

The Hindu group intimidated members of staff and burnt Bibles, after accusing the hospital of offering free treatments to patients if they converted to Christianity.

Despite an increase in persecution, Christianity has continued to grow in Nepal, with more than 8,000 churches established and over a million converts to Christianity since the adoption of a secular democracy in 2008.

 

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