Nepali Christians fear that proposed amendments to Nepal’s new constitution, likely to come into effect on Monday (10 August) after seven years of parliamentary discussions, could eventually render all Christian activity illegal.
Attempting to convert someone to another religion is already prohibited in Nepal, but the proposed amendments would mean that anything perceived as “evangelistic” could be punishable by law.
Article 31(3) states that “any act to convert another person from one religion to another, or any act or behaviour to undermine or jeopardise the religion of another [will be] punishable by law”.
Christians fear this will pave the way for an “anti-conversion clause” to be written into the penal code, which could result in prison sentences or hefty fines for “offenders”.
On paper, the proposed amendments read the same for all religions, but no specification is given for what constitutes an “act to convert” and, in a country where 80 per cent of the population is Hindu, the hammer is likely to fall hardest on minorities, including Christians, who comprise between 1.5 and 3 per cent of the population.
Christians are concerned that if the latest draft is passed, regular Christian activities – such as holding church services accessible to all, or even simply organising events to aid the disadvantaged – could be interpreted as “evangelistic” and, therefore, punishable by law.
Nepal’s first democratic election was held in 2008, after a bloody civil war led by Maoist guerrillas overthrew the Hindu monarchy. But seven years later, Nepal is yet to complete its transition to a secular democracy by declaring its new constitution. Its Constituent Assembly has missed several deadlines for the announcement, as World Watch Monitor reported in April.
The Church has never been recognised as an official religious institution within Nepal, and Nepali Christians complain that they have suffered inequality and persecution for decades. Christians had hoped that a new constitution enshrined by the new secular democracy would guarantee equal rights and religious freedom for all.
“We have defined full religious freedom [as] every citizen [having] the freedom to choose the religion of his or her choice … [That] people will be free to share their faith with fellow citizens. And then, also, people should have the freedom not to believe in any religion,” Dr. K. B. Royaka, a former member of Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission, told World Watch Monitor in April.
However, Royaka acknowledged that “secularism does not always mean religious freedom, as we have seen in other parts of the world”.
Now there are those within the Nepali government who are pushing for the country to throw off its “secular” tag and revert to its position as the world’s only official Hindu nation.
Chief among the protagonists are the MPs from the nationalist Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), which is growing in popularity and shares similarities with India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – which won power in 2014 after “an election campaign fuelled by unbridled hate against Muslims and Christians”, according to a March report by Christian activist John Dayal.
Vishal Arora, who has reported for World Watch Monitor from Nepal, says the influence of India’s BJP government is a “key factor” driving someof Nepal’s high-caste Hindu politicians to demand that Nepal be restored as a Hindu nation.
“Many of Nepal’s parties and politicians listen to what New Delhi says or wants, officially or otherwise,” he says.
There are others calling for the word ‘secular’ to be replaced in the constitution by the words ‘religious freedom’.
However, a recent editorial in the Kathmandu Post notes that although “in theory the words ‘religious freedom’ sound positive … “in practice [they] could have damaging consequences … In Nepal, the majority religion is Hinduism, and almost all the powerful people belong to this religion. They have the capacity to push for demands that Hinduism enjoy special status in Nepal, and the clause that enshrines religious freedom in the constitution will enable them to do so. By contrast, members of minority religions have relatively little political and economic clout.”
Source: World Watch Monitor
By now everyone has heard of “the worst quake in decades” that rocked Nepal in April. The quake measured 7.9 on the Richter scale, causing massive widespread damage and well over 9,000 deaths. One day after this deadly quake another one hit. So far, a total 375 aftershocks with 4 or more magnitude have been recorded over the past 100 days following the April 25 earthquake. Nepal’s worst recorded earthquake in 1934 measured 8.0 and all but destroyed the cities of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan.
Just today, coincidentally, another quake hit Nepal, a mild one, (4.9 magnitude) but enough of a shake-up that it triggered panic and caused people to run from their homes. On August 6, 2015, Scientists warned that these earthquakes are just warm-ups for a bigger one yet to come.
As we know from the bible, God uses disasters to call nations and people to repentance (Job 37:13). With all of these quakes and warnings, God is definitely speaking, but who is listening? I know that many Christians witnessed to the citizens of Nepal, so I know that the word of God has gone forth.
God also issued a stronger warning against nations and people who worship false idols, and the end result is eternity in the lake of fire.
The Hindu religion has 33 million different gods.
” What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?” – Habakkuk 2:18 (KJV).
The way it’s explained is that in order to keep the universe running, Krishna, the supreme being, has put into place individuals that oversee different parts of the material universe. These individuals are powerful beings that have been appointed by Krishna and have been bestowed with the necessary powers and abilities to manage and govern their area of creation. They can be referred to as demigods.
For example, there is someone responsible for the sun and his name is Surya. The goddess Saraswati is the overseer of knowledge. The creator of the material universe is known as Brahma. The destruction of the universe is overseen by Shiva and Vishnu serves as the maintainer. There are individuals overseeing the oceans, the wind, and practically every facet of creations. When seen from this perspective, 33 million is not that big a number (Source: Huffington post).
“And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.” – 1 Samuel 12:21 (KJV).
The following verses came to mind when I read this article, and I do believe that this message should be sent to Nepal in love:
Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.- Isaiah 45:20 (KJV).
Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. – Isaiah 47:13 (KJV).
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. – Psalms 115:4-7 (KJV).
And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands. – Jeremiah 1:16 (KJV).
Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands. – Micah 5:13 (KJV).
And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth. – Jeremiah 8:2 (KJV).
And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk -Revelation 9:20 (KJV).
In Nepal, 80 per cent of the population is Hindu; Christians comprise between 1.5 and 3 per cent. (Source: Open Doors International). We must keep praying for all the Hindu Christians, as they are subjected to violence, threats, and have had their churches burned down. I also pray for the eyes and ears of those who are deceived by their false gods to be open. The persecution of Christians is a prophecy coming to pass as Jesus warned us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? -Romans 8:35 (KJV).
In the faithful Service of Jesus Christ,
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (KJV).
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Jesus Christ was born, lived, died, and rose again for the sole purpose of saving us from our sins. Are you saved? The bible declares that “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13 (KJV). Salvation is turning your life over to Jesus Christ, believing that Jesus is the son of God, and renewing your mind with his spirit, that is done through repentance of sin, and following JESUS with all your heart, mind and soul. JESUS transforms lives, if you are ready for this life saving step, call upon your savior TODAY! Learn more here.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils – 1 Timothy 4:1 (KJV).
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.- 2 Timothy 3:12 (KJV).
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” – Matthew 24:14 (KJV).
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved – Matthew 10:22 (KJV).
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction – 2 Peter 2:1 (KJV).
In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood – Isaiah 59:13 (KJV).
“And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring ” Luke 21:11. 25 (KJV).