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ICC Note:

Christian leaders in Nepal are saddened by the government’s decision to sign into law a bill that bans religious conversions and punishes the “hurting of religious sentiment”. Many in Nepal’s Christian community feel that these laws are meant to target their community which is one of the fastest growing Christian communities in the world. Similar laws in India have been abused by Hindu radicals to harass Christians, especially Christian leaders. 

10/29/2017 Nepal (Western Journalism) – The president of Nepal recently signed into a law a ban on religion conversions that targets the nation’s Christian community in the Majority-Hindu state.

The law, signed last week by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, makes the act of converting someone to another religion punishable by five years in prison. What the law calls “hurting of religious sentiment” is punishable by two years in prison.

Foreigners convicted of violating the law would be deported after serving their prison sentences.

“We are deeply saddened that this Bill is now law,” said Pastor Tanka Subedi of Religious Liberty Forum Nepal, according to the international religious freedom group Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

“Our appeals to the president and other policy makers to amend this have been ignored,” he added. “Nepali government have taken a regressive step as this law severely restricts our freedom of expression and our freedom of religion or belief.”

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