Following Nepal’s vote to remain a secular nation, rejecting a proposal to become the world’s only official Hindu nation, two churches were bombed and hate literature and pictures of burned Bibles were circulated to the nation’s Christian leaders. These actions were taken by a Hindu radical group called the Hindu Morcha Nepal in an attempted to strike fear into Christians as religious tensions in Nepal rise. Will persecution start escalating?
9/24/2015 Nepal (Christian Examiner) – Two of the three bombs exploded in the churches, while the third exploded later after it was taken to a police station, injuring three police.
The churches were targeted in a Sept. 15 attack in Jhota, an eastern district of Nepal, in what was likely a retaliation for legislation that passed to keep Nepal a secular state rather than to adopt a Hindu constitution.
Jyoti Church in Damak-10 and Emmanuel Church in Khajurgachi sustained damages to their buildings when the bombs went off about 11:30 at night, the Kathmandu Post reported. A window and wall of one building and a gate of another were affected by the blasts.
N.A. Thulung, pastor of Jyoti Church, told AsiaNews: “Fortunately none of the faithful were present, and the only damage is to property.”
But the third bomb at a church at Surunga of Kankai Municipality-3 did not detonate until it had been carried to the police station and was being diffused. Three officers were wounded.
Credit for the bombings is presumed to lie with Hindu Morcha Nepal, a Hindu radical group seeking the total conversion of Nepal to Hinduism. Anti-Christian flyers from the group were found at each of the three churches.
The flyers said Christian leaders must reconvert to Hinduism and the Christianization of Nepal is happening with the support of foreign nations, according to the Voice of the Martyrs (VOM). The group threatened to begin its own campaign if the government did not take action against Christians.
Regarding the threat from Hindu Morcha Nepal, a VOM contact said, “Churches, Christian organizations, and institutions are their targets.”
Tej Prasad Poudel, head of Jhota District, said: “We are investigating what happened and who is involved. No one is justified. We will make sure all the culprits [are brought] to justice.”
Religious tension throughout the predominantly Hindu country has been extremely high because of the proposed amendment. Additionally, photos of burning Bibles have been circulating throughout Nepal in an anti-Christian movement related to the political atmosphere.