Local Nepalese officials order halt to construction of church building
Municipal officials in Nepal ordered a church to stop construction of a worship hall after local Hindus objected to it, sources said. Some of the area Hindus had threatened relatives who became Christians after pastor Manish Bohra began proclaiming Christ in Galkot in January. When the small church started to outgrow its rented room for worship in March, he leased land on which to build a temporary structure for prayer.
The coronavirus pandemic halted the construction, and after authorities lifted the lockdown on the 21st of July, members of the church in western Nepal’s Baglung District renewed construction on a structure to accommodate 50 people, Pastor Bohra said.
“On the 26th of July, I received a phone call from officials at Galkot Municipality warning us not to construct a church in the area, and that they had received a petition from the local residents opposing Christian activities in the area,” Pastor Bohra told Morning Star News.
“When we tried to reason with the officials, they told us that we have gone against the Nepalese laws, and that we must stop all activities in the area and vacate the premises with immediate effect,” the pastor added.
All religious groups except Buddhist monasteries must register as nonprofit organisations to own land or other property, according to the U.S. State Department’s 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom, but Pastor Bohra was only leasing the land.
Nepalese law does not provide for registration or official recognition of religious organisations as religious institutions with the exception of Buddhist monasteries, but all religious groups must register as nonprofit organisations or NGO’s to operate legally as institutions, according to the report.
Source and image: christianheadlines.com