By BosNewsLife Asia Service with reporting by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos
KATHMANDU, NEPAL (BosNewsLife)– Christian rights activists have urged Nepal’s new prime minister to help guarantee freedom of religion in a new constitution, just days after a bomb nearly destroyed a church.
Advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said Wednesday, August 31, “There is an air of expectancy in Nepal that the newly-elected Prime Minister, Baburam Bhattarai, will be able to oversee the completion of the constitution-drafting process.”
CSW said it has advised legislators not to include within either the constitution or penal code clauses such as “no person shall be entitled to convert another person from one religion to another,” which is believed to target devoted Christians.
Nepalese Christians have welcomed a decision to extend the deadline for a new constitution by three months, but they remain concerned that anti-Christian attacks will overshadow the drafting process.
In one of the latest threats against Christians, a bomb was discovered at the gate of Aradhana Church, an Assembly of God congregation in the far western village of Khairapur, Christians said. “I saw a strange object at the door of the church around 6 p.m.,” local time on Sunday, August 28, said Indra Bishwakarma, who leads the 15-year-old church.
“When I went closer to inspect it, I saw metal scraps jutting out. I realized it was a bomb and called my two children, who were inside the church, to come out immediately. Then I informed police,” he told reporters.
A bomb disposal squad of the Nepal Army reportedly defused the bomb after nearly four hours. The incident came some two years after a bomb blast rocked the Catholic Assumption Church in the capital Kathmandu during mass, killing two women and a 14-year-old schoolgirl while injuring a dozen others.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the failed attack. However the 2009 church blast was claimed by the underground Nepal Defence Army (NDA) group, which seeks the restoration of Hinduism as the state religion.
Christians have expressed concerns that a 39-year-old NDA leader could walk out of prison a free man, although he masterminded the killing of at least six people.
Besides the church attack, the NDA has been linked to bombing two mosques in southern Nepal that killed two men during prayers and the murder of a Salesian priest from India, Father John Prakash, who headed the Don Bosco School for underprivileged children in the southern Nepalese town of Birgunj.
Nepal’s government is reportedly in negotiations with the NDA. It has promised to withdraw criminal cases against the NDA and release all those detained if it hands over its arms, observers said.
Until the mainly Hindu and Bhuddist Himalayan nation became a republic in May 2008, it had been ruled by monarchs or a ruling family for most of its modern history in relative isolation. It is now under domestic and international pressure to open up and grant more political and religious rights to its roughly 30 million citizens.
What right or motive does the Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) have to either ask that the clause “no person shall be entitled to convert another person from one religion to another” be included in the new constitution or that there is no religious tolerance in Nepal. The only aim of CSW is to exploit the abject poverty of Nepal to spread Christianity through money and this is plain disgustng. If the CSW will request the same from the US and Europe and allow the Middle Eastern countries to spend mony to spread Islam in the US and Europe, then it would be worth considering.
Really it is disgusting to hear that christians are asking religious rights in Nepal. Who are these christians to interfere in Nepal’s culture. If no church is built in Nepal there will be no attack. But we christians are creating havoc in other societies.
STOP ALL THESE NONSENSE ACTIVITIES TO HAVE PEACE IN THE WORLD.
When a christian killed hundreds in Norway, they blamed the Muslims, how cunning we are. That is what you are teaching, killing innocent people. If we Christians stop preaching money religion and stop exploiting the poor people of Nepal as well as the world with our MONEY, 80% of the terrorist activities will be lessened.
There is much more DISCRIMINATION in Christians than any other societies. Each group has his own church, other group does not go there, black are not allowed to go to white church and vice-a versa. Is this not discrimination?
Christians are the CULTURELESS people who do not respect other people and others’ cultures but try to exploit the poor people with their money. THIS IS NOT A RELIGION.
Please don,t make the poor people and countries SCAPEGOATS.
It’s true that christians are DISTURBING US(NEPALIS) and trying to bring voilence again in Nepal. They cannot preach good in their own countries and people, so they are using we poor people of Nepal. PLease do not interfere in Nepal.