Hindu Extremists Order All Christian Missionaries to Leave Nepal as Tensions Rise
A group of Hindu extremists have reportedly warned all foreign Christian missionaries to leave Nepal, following a series of church attacks in recent weeks. Christians are being blamed for "corrupting the country," while a new Constitution bans people from converting others to their faith.
International Christian Concern reported on Tuesday that Morcha Nepal, a Hindu radical group, distributed leaflets in Nepal warning Christian missionaries to leave the country, despite the government declaring Nepal to be a secular state.
The leaflets read: "Foreign influence have manipulated government decisions" and "Christians have corrupted the country," according to a report in Fides News Agency.
The Fides report noted that sources have said that despite these warnings, "Christians continue their mission of dialogue and proclamation of the Gospel of charity toward all."
Charisma News reported that two churches in Nepal's easternmost Jhapa district were bombed on Sept. 14, only hours after Nepal's Constituent Assembly turned down calls to revert the country back into an officially Hindu state.
Three people have since been arrested over the attacks, though Hindu extremists have continued threatening Christian missionaries to leave the country.
"From today, the Morcha declares Nepal a Christian-free Hindu nation. We warn all the Christian religious leaders to leave Nepal, and appeal to all those who converted to Christianity to return home [convert back to Hinduism]," the statement from the radical Hindu group adds.
Christians only make up 1.4 percent of the people, according to CIA Factbook statistics, while 81.3 percent of the over 31 million population identifies as Hindu.
The former Hindu kingdom suffered through a 10-year civil war that brought down the nation's monarchy in 2008.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide spoke up earlier in September against section 26 of the new constitution, however, that makes illegal and punishable by law "any act to convert another person from one religion to another or any act or behaviour to undermine or jeopardize the religion of another."
CSW said that the law "fails to allow for choosing and changing one's faith to be seen as a positive individual choice or as a matter of individual rights, as required by international treaties which Nepal has signed and ratified."
Mission Network News said in an article on Tuesday that Nepalese Christians need the world's prayers.
It noted that the new constitution divided the country into seven federal states with their own legislature. Many ethnic minorities have protested against such a division, however, sharing fears that they will receive little protection and will be further marginalized.
MNN suggested that Christians around the world pray for the government of Nepal; for the wisdom of Nepal's leaders; for the people of Nepal; and especially for Nepalese Christians as they continue to practice their faith under the difficult circumstances.