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Hindu extremists detonate bomb outside Christian mission office in Nepal

Country/Region: South and East Asia, Nepal

An extremist Hindu group behind a bomb blast outside a Christian mission building in Nepal has demanded that the country become a Hindu state and all churches in the capital be closed within 50 days.

Nepalese_Christians_4X3.jpg

Nepalese Christians are feeling
under increasing threat

An explosive device was detonated beside the offices of the United Mission to Nepal, an association of Christian organisations devoted to social justice and poverty alleviation, in Kathmandu on Tuesday 22 November. The building is situated in a residential area, but there were no casualties and minimal property damage.

Another bomb found nearby was defused by a bomb disposal squad. Five days later, a bomb was discovered outside a Protestant church in central Kathmandu by the janitor; it was defused by security forces.

Hindu threats

The Nepal Defence Army (NDA), an extremist Hindu group that wants to reinstate the country’s Hindu monarchy, claimed responsibility for the blast outside the United Mission. Pamphlets signed by the group reportedly demanding that Nepal should be a Hindu state, that all churches in Kathmandu should be closed within 50 days and that all missionary organisations should leave Nepal, were found by the police.

The NDA bombed a church in Lalitpur, south of Kathmandu, in May 2009. Three people were killed and more than a dozen injured in that attack, which happened on the eve of national elections for a new prime minister. The group has also been behind the murder of a church pastor and other attacks against Christians, who are feeling increasingly under threat in Nepal.

They are concerned about proposed new legislation that would outlaw converting from one religion to another or inciting someone else to do so. Offenders could face up to five years in prison.

Christian leaders fear that the witness of the Church in Nepal will be seriously threatened if the government proceeds with the legislation. It would be a retrograde step for religious freedom in Nepal, overturning the provisions of the 2007 interim constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion and expression to all groups.  

In a worrying indication of the growing climate of hostility over religious conversions, especially to Christianity, two people were beaten and forcibly evicted from their village in Sindupalcowk on 22 November because they had become Christians.

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  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi’s final appeal hearing is scheduled to take place tomorrow (14 April) having been deferred twice. She was sentenced to death for blasphemy in November 2010 having been falsely accused of insulting Muhammad following an argument with Muslim co-workers. Aasia has been languishing in jail since the accusation was made in June 2009. Pray that her appeal will finally go ahead and that the judges will have the courage to acquit and release Aasia; there are concerns that they may give in to pressure from hardline Islamists who have been calling for her execution. Pray that Aasia, her husband and children will know the Lord’s peace as they await the verdict. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

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