Churches bombed in Kathmandu

 

Churches bombed in Kathmandu

Author: 

George Conger

Religious extremists have responded to the vote by the Nepalese parliament to declare the country a “Hindu religious country” in the nation’s new constitution by bombing three churches. On 16 Sept 2015 the parliament replaced the interim constitution introduced in 2008 following the fall of the country’s Hindu monarchy. Zealots had demanded the new constitution affirm the Hindu character of the nation, but were unable to muster sufficient votes in parliament to amend the constitution, which went into effect on 20 Sept 2015. On 17 Sept bombs were detonated at two churches causing minor damage and no injuries. A third device planted at a church in Gauradaha was removed by police. The Kathmandu Post reported that pamphlets supporting the radical Hindu Morcha Nepal were found at the scene of the bombings. Anglican mission work in Nepal began in 1999 when the Diocese of Singapore commissioned the Rev. Norman Beale to evangelize the country. In the past 15 years the Anglican Church has grown to 48 churches with 9000 members in Kathmandu and the rural highlands served by missionaries from Singapore, two native clergy and 76 full time lay preachers/catechists. In 2014 the church baptized and confirmed 2500 new members. Hindu nationalists have objected to the conversion to Christianity of Hindus and have sought to outlaw conversions and expel foreign missionaries. Pamphlets found at the scene of the attacks claim “foreign influence have manipulated government decisions" and "Christians have corrupted the country".

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