03/02/2019 Nepal (International Christian Concern) – The Rastriya Prajatantra Party has launched a campaign in Nepal that calls for the country to be reestablished as an explicitly Hindu state. Religious minorities, including Christians who make up only 3% of the population, are concerned this campaign will encourage religious intolerance and lead to increased persecution.
The Rastriya Prajatantra Party launched the campaign to reestablish Nepal as a Hindu nation last month in all seven of the country’s provinces. According to Rastriya Prajatantra Party, secularism has weakened the national spirit. Also, the party claims that the country should be reestablished as a Hindu nation because the majority of the population are Hindus.
Christians and other religious minorities are concerned by the launch of this campaign. Speaking to Asia News, Sajan K. George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians, said, “We are very concerned about the campaign to restore Nepal as a Hindu state. Christians are about 3% of the population. Of these, 65% are Dalits, so they suffer double discrimination as a marginalized group.”
The Hindu monarchy of Nepal was abolished in 2006. After nine years, Nepal adopted its first democratic constitution in 2015 that established the country as a secular state. However, Hindu nationalists have continually sought to reestablish Nepal as a Hindu nation and push out minority faiths.
In 2018, a law was enacted that made religious conversions illegal. According to that law, anyone involved in religious conversions could serve up to five years in prison in addition to paying a fine of 5,000 rupees.
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