Native Christian missionaries in Nepal have said that they will continue to evangelize despite a new constitutional ban on religious conversions. In September, Nepal adopted a new constitution that included an article outlawing “any act to convert another person from one religion to another or any act or behavior to undermine or jeopardize the religion of another.” Following the adoption of the new constitution, Hindu hardliners were upset that the government did not declare Nepal a Hindu nation and attacked three churches in response. Despite these tense times, Christian missionaries are still at work.
11/17/2015 Nepal (BosNewsLife) – Native Christian missionaries in Nepal say they will continue evangelism despite unrest over a new constitution that enshrined a long-time ban on proselytizing.
The new constitution, signed by Nepal’s president on September 20, outlaws “any act to convert another person from one religion to another or any act or behavior to undermine or jeopardize the religion of another,” with violations punishable by prison and/or fines.
The ban fails to allow choosing one’s faith to be seen as a matter of individual rights as required by international treaties that Nepal has signed and ratified, said advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).
Yet, Christians were relieved that the framers ultimately did away with a reported concession to Hindu groups to ban all religious conversions, said Christian Aid Mission (CAM), which supports native missionaries.
The government instead approved a constitution defining the state as secular and neutral toward all religions, “over rancorous objections and violence that included attacks on three church buildings,” CAM told BosNewsLife.