Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nepal: Christians Increasingly Vulnerable In Secular State

Going forward, each weekend I plan to post news articles concerning our persecuted brothers and sisters from around the world. Please use these stories as a reminder to pray for those who are being mistreated and even tortured for their faith.

As law and order breaks down, Christians come under attack.

KATHMANDU, Nepal, July 30 (Compass Direct News) – Three years after a pro-democracy movement led to the proclamation of Nepal as a secular state, some Christians say they are in greater peril than ever. They are now being targeted by militant Hindu organizations that blame the church for the abolition of Hinduism as the state religion and the end of monarchy. Since May, when the Nepal Defense Army (NDA) – which claims to have links with militant Hindu organizations – struck one of Kathmandu valley’s oldest and biggest churches, the group has threatened to drive all Christians from the country. And now a group claiming to be the parent organization of the NDA has warned that on Aug. 10 it will start a “Save the Hindu nation” movement.

Last month, the Rev. Pius Perumana, a senior Catholic priest, received a phone call. “The caller said he was in charge of the NDA in Kathmandu valley,” said Perumana of Ishalaya Catholic Church, located in Godavari on the southern rim of the capital. “However, I recognized the voice. It was Ram Prasad Mainali himself.” Perumana said he has received at least five threatening calls from the Hindu supremist ordering him to close all Christian organizations and leave Nepal, he said. The NDA leader has also been calling Protestant pastors, demanding money. In districts outside Kathmandu, where security is weak, some pastors are said to have paid up out of fear.