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Nepal: Four Christians arrested for “forced conversion” of Hindus

The four Christians are all women, two Japanese and two Nepalese. It strains credulity that they would have been able to force anyone to convert to Christianity, had they wanted to. But this false charge is apparently a favorite of Nepalese authorities: “there have been so many incidents against Christians in Nepal, where foreigners have been deported on charges of forced conversions.” Nepalese authorities appear to be threatened by the rapid growth of Christianity in that country According to the Orthodox Christianity website, “In 1951, Nepal’s census showed no—that would be zero—Christians in the country. Ten years later, it showed just 458. Forty years later, the number had risen to 102,000 and ten years later, i.e., in 2011, it had risen to 375,000. What’s more, according to a report by the International Institute for Religious Freedom, Nepalese Christian leaders believe that this last figure underestimates the number of Christian by a factor of six: instead of 375,000 Christians there are closer to 2.3 million.”

“Kathmandu, four Christians arrested for ‘forced conversion’ of dalit,” by Nirmala Carvalho, Asia News, November 6, 2018:

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Four Christian women, two of whom were Japanese, were arrested in Nepal on charges of trying to convert some Dalits and nomads without land to Christianity by force. Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), told AsiaNews that “there is a law in the country that criminalizes religious conversions and states that no one can perform or encourage ‘religious conversions'”.

According to the Christian activist, the legislation contradicts the secular and democratic spirit of the first Nepalese constitution approved in 2015. “While this Constitution defines Nepal as a secular and democratic republic – he states – its definition of ‘secular’ seems to protect ‘Hinduism”.

The arrest took place on November 4 in the Butawal area, near the capital Kathmandu. The arrested women are: Yasura Owa, 49, and Makihikula, 44, both of Japanese nationality; Pushpa Ghimire, 25, and Tirthamaya Ghale, 35, Nepalese. According to some residents, they were attempting to proselytize door-to-door. This is why they were followed and their activities filmed. The films were then delivered to the police who proceeded with their arrest.

…According to the 2011 census, adds Sajan K George, “Christians represent only 1.5% of the total population (29 million inhabitants). This is why the accusation of conversion is false “.

The Indian activist points out that “there have been so many incidents against Christians in Nepal, where foreigners have been deported on charges of forced conversions”….

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