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ICC Note:

Christians and other religious minorities in Nepal have expressed their concern over public show of support their government and president have made to the Hindu religion. Before 2008, Nepal was a Hindu monarchy. Last year, the country adopted a constitution that made it a secular democracy. This new constitution encouraged many religious minorities, but actions taken by the government following the new constitution have many concerned. Especially concerning is a section of the new constitution that makes it illegal to convert a person to another religion, something Christian fear will be used against their community. 

10/27/2016 Nepal (Asia News) – Nepal’s religious minorities have slammed the president and members of the government for favoring Hinduism over other religions in violation of the secular character of the state.

After 240 years of Hindu monarchy, Nepal adopted a Constitution last year that defines the state as “secular federal republic” based on the equality of all religions before the law.

However, minorities are increasingly upset after President Biddhya Devi Bhandari – wife of former Maoist leader Madan Bhandari – took part recently in a number of Hindu festivals, promoting Vedic values ​​as a priority for the country.

“Religious minorities have suffered for years because of the lack of religious freedom,” said C B Gahtraj, a Christian leader. “Now the secular state has brought hope for an end to discrimination and the achievement of equal dignity. Still some differences remain, such as the fact that we have no graves according to our religion, nor celebrations at Christmas. ”

Muslims and Buddhists also did not like the president’s visit to the Hindu festival. “In a secular state, government authorities should remain silent on the subject of religions,” said Muslim leader Nazrul Hussein.

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