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ICC Note: For the first time in seventeen years, Nepal has been ranked on Open Doors’ World Watch List of countries where Christians face persecution. This ranking coincides with a dramatic increase in persecution in Nepal, especially following the passage of a national anti-conversion law last year. Despite this increase in persecution, Nepal is still home to one of the world’s fastest growing Christian communities.

02/07/2018 Nepal (Christian Daily) – Nepal has debuted this year on Open Doors’ World Watch List of countries where Christians face the worst religious persecution, as its secular government is being run mostly by Hindu officials.

Speaking to The Christian Post in an interview, full-time Christian pastor Bharat Giri explained how Nepal landed on the 25th spot of Open Doors’ World Watch List. He said the human rights abuses and negligence of religious minorities are now increasing.

“We are dominated by India,” Pastor Giri told the Post. “They are promoting only the Hindu people.”

In addition, Pastor Giri highlighted Nepal’s new law that criminalizes religious conversions as one of the main factors driving the religious persecution in the country. He said the law was being used to punish people who want to embrace the Christian faith.

Pastor Giri cited a few cases where Christians have been targeted by the anti-conversion law. In one instance more than a year ago, a group of believers were jailed for nine months for distributing religious materials. In East Nepal, a woman who had been looking after poor children was imprisoned for three months after being accused of converting other people to the Christian faith.

Christians are not the only ones affected by the situation. There were some Buddhists who were jailed for eating cow meat, as hardline Hindus consider cows to be sacred.

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For interviews with William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]