Four Christians in Nepal Arrested on ‘Forced Conversion’ Charges

11/15/2018 Nepal (International Christian Concern) – Four Christian women in Nepal, including two Japanese citizens and two Nepalese citizens, were arrested on November 4 on suspicion of attempting to convert people to Christianity by force. The arrests took place after the Christian women were accused of proselytizing door to door in the Butawal area near the capital Kathmandu.

According to reports, the Christian women were followed, filmed and the footage was passed to police who made the arrests. They were accused of targeting Dalits, formally known as “untouchables”.

In July 2018, De Vera Richard and Rita Gonga, a married couple, were deported from Nepal to their native countries of the Philippines and Indonesia after being charged of committing forceful religious conversions. Nepal’s Department of Immigration claimed the two were working as pastors at a local church and allegedly ‘were converting Hindus into Christians’. Their role in the church was found to be in violation of their business visas and the Department of Immigration cancelled their visas.

In August 2018, Nepal enacted a law making it a criminal offense to cause anyone to change their religion or hurt the religious sentiments of others. Many Christians feared the enactment of this law as they felt it would be used to target their community.

For interviews with William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org.

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