Christians in Nepal Fear Delay in Drafting of New Constitution Following Deadly Earthquake
Christians in Nepal fear that the drafting of a new constitution may be delayed following the deadly earthquake that struck the country last Saturday. The death toll has past 4,000 and is likely to continue to climb as both cities and remote villages suffered due to the 7.8 quake. Before the disaster, many believed that the new constitution would be ready soon. Christians are particularly concerned with the new constitution because it is hoped that it will include a freedom of religion clause that will protect their rights to practice their Christians faith without harassment, something they currently do not enjoy.
4/28/2015 Nepal (BosNewsLife) – Christian aid workers were among those desperately searching for survivors who may be buried amid the rubble in the Nepalese capital of Katmandu, or trapped in remote mountain villages, as the death toll soared past 4,000 from Saturday’s massive earthquake.
Matt Darvas, a member of the aid group World Vision, told the Associated Press news agency that many of those villages will be accessible only by helicopter.
“Villages like this are routinely affected by landslides, and it’s not uncommon for entire villages of 200, 300, up to 1,000 people to be completely buried by rock falls,” Darvas said.
The tally does not include 18 people killed in an avalanche triggered by the earthquake that buried part of the base camp at Mount Everest, or the 61 people killed in India and 20 reported dead in Tibet.
This weekend’s earthquake, the worst in decades, also added to concern among Nepal’s minority Christians that politicians will use it to further delay a new constitution that would guarantee them equal rights and religious freedoms.
The country had been expecting the new constitution to be ready before its year end on April 13.
Heavily Hindu Nepal is still overcoming the legacy of its 10-year Maoist insurgency and the final abolition of its monarchy in 2008, with Christians caught in the middle of a power struggle and debate over the country’s future.
There’s “a lot more still to be done” before Nepal’s political parties arrive at a consensus on that Constitution, a leader of one of the ruling parties said, according to World Watch Monitor (WWM) news agency.