Nepal (MNN) — In 2008, Nepal had its first democratic election. The election was the result of a civil war led by the Maoist guerillas, who waged war on the monarchy before finally overthrowing the country’s rulers.
The tiny 3% of the population that was Nepal’s Christians hoped for equality and religious freedom to be guaranteed in the new constitution, but so far, according to Open Doors USA, it seems the opposite is true.
One group in particular is pushing the rise of a Hindu nationalistic nation: the Rashtriya Prajatantra Party, the RPP. Supporters of this group have been known to harass, threaten, and attack Christians, especially those involved in evangelism. The group also holds numerous rallies promoting a Hindu state.
The preliminary draft of the new constitution outlaws converting from one religion to another, and this version was heavily supported by the RPP. The goal of this article is to limit the freedom of Christians and promote a Hindu nationalistic nation.
A new draft was proposed that would allow people to abstain from religion, even though they weren’t allowed to convert. However, an infuriated RPP pushed back, and the article has already been removed; conversion is all-together outlawed.
If Nepal once again becomes a Hindu nationalistic nation, there would be severe consequences for the local believers. Not only would evangelism be strictly forbidden, even worship churches would be outlawed, as the church is not a government- recognized institution.
The new constitution also allowed religions to “protect” their faith. This means assault, vandalism, and more against churches could dramatically increase. That means that pastors, their congregations, and the church buildings themselves could be drastically more at risk.
It also means the law could get cloudy, allowing Christians to be put on trial for almost any church activity. New Christians would also have to pursue their faith underground, avoiding government eyes.
With the new limitations pressed on the church and anti-conversion laws being seriously discussed, the Nepalese church is desperately asking for prayer. Please remember their situation as a new government is put in place and Nepal runs the risk of becoming a Hindu state.