According to a Nepalese human rights leader the lack of response from local authorities has encouraged offenders to strike down on Christian communities. "It's spreading like wildfire" he said. These are the latest occurrences in a series of at least 7 incidents of violence against churches in a two-week period.
Two churches in the same town of Nepal’s Lumbini Province suffered serious vandalism during the first four days of September. The unidentified offenders damaged the facilities and nearby properties of both places of worship, including a motorbike.
Two pastors were assaulted on the street in the same time period. Attackers smeared gluey black substance on their faces, which is a cultural sign of resentment and disrespect.
Nepal has strict anti-conversion laws, which stimulates opposition against the country’s Christian population. Anyone convicted of evangelizing faces a sentence of up to six years in prison.
Nepal is a land-locked country between China and India. Until 2006 it was considered the world’s only officially Hindu nation, with 86% of the population being Hindu and only 0.6 % Christian. Today, Christians make up 2.8 % of the population while Hindus account for 75 %. Though Nepal is no longer an official Hindu state, most Christian persecution comes from radical Hindu groups who want the country to return to Hinduism.
Civil unrest started in 1990, resulting in liberalization of government controls, including freedom to practice any religion, but not to evangelize. Despite this official policy, local persecution of Christians continued, particularly for those who shared their faith with Hindus. Those who converted to religions other than Hinduism face social rejection and the possibility of violence.
Following the victory of the Maoist party in April 2008, Christians welcomed the opportunity to rewrite the constitution and make the nation a democratic republic. Many believers saw the Maoist party victory as a step toward greater religious freedom. However, when the Prime Minister’s resigned in 2010, the government remained financially challenged, and constitutional reforms were delayed.
Despite a decrease in anti-Christian violence, following God is still perilous. In October 2010, six men attacked and brutally beat a Gospel for Asia-supported missionary. The men accused Indra Rai Waglan of blasphemy against their traditional gods. They also accused him of forcing all the members of two families to convert to Christianity.