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Pressure on Christians Heats Up in Nepal

Christians in Nepal
Pressure on Christians Heats Up in Nepal

In a rash of recent actions against Christians in Nepal, an alcoholic who became violent during an intervention had Christian leaders arrested on forcible conversion charges, and a foreign couple was deported.

Isak Tamang of the Shreejanga Free Church and pastor Dip Rai of the Chengbung Free Church were arrested on July 2 in Taplejung District, in the eastern part of the country, accused of forcible conversion and assault. Two other Christians, David Limbu and Shristi Limbu, were arrested in the same case.

An unidentified Christian woman had asked leaders at Shreejanga Free Church to help her husband, who is not a Christian, with his drinking problem, and he was staying on the church premises without access to alcohol, according to pastor Kuber Gurung, a Religious Liberty Forum Nepal (RLF-Nepal) leader based in Dharan.

During his stay he grew violent over the lack of alcohol, attempted to harm himself and others and had to be controlled by force, Pastor Gurung said. When church leaders took him to a prayer tower in Jhapa for prayer and counselling, he filed charges and the Christians were arrested, the pastor said.

Police and the chief district officer had suggested a way to settle out of court, but the man demanded 500,000 rupees (US$4,507), which the pastors said was far beyond their ability to pay, according to RLF-Nepal sources.

“We hope the [local] administration will bring out some solution, because their demand of 5 lakh rupees is too much for a poor pastor to pay,” pastor Tanka Subedi, chairperson of the RLF-Nepal, told Morning Star News.

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