ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, August 20   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
LGBT debates in churches
Is the definition of marriage an important enough issue to split a church?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Anti-conversion law
 

Proposed Nepal Constitution threatens religious freedom

“No one shall attempt to change or convert someone from one religion to another”, the new Constitution draft says. Christians and Muslims have raised serious objections.

SOURCES CSW, Christian Today AUTHOR Evangelical Focus KATHMANDU 20 JULY 2015 17:15 h GMT+1
Christian Sunday service in Nepal / CSW

The proposed anti-conversion laws could be a serious threat to the religious freedom in Nepal, according to some experts.



In April 2008, the Hindu monarchy was abolished and Nepal was declared a secular republic.



The first Constituent Assembly (CA) of Nepal, was in charge of creating “a political system that fully complies with universally accepted fundamental human rights”, but the political parties were unable to agree on the new constitution until after the earthquakes in April and May 2015.



 However, on 8 June 2015 the four main parties agreed an outline plan for the Constitution, which was expedited to produce a final draft by the beginning of July.



 



NEPALESE CONSTITUTION DRAFT



The proposed constitution includes a clause that states: “…no one shall attempt to change or convert someone from one religion to another, or disturb/jeopardise the religion of others, and such acts/activities shall be punishable by law."



Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has warned that this wording could mean religious freedom for Nepalese citizens would be "severely curtailed".



“It fails to allow for choosing and changing one’s faith to be seen as a positive individual choice or as a matter of individual rights”, CSW said in a briefing. The release branded the draft clauses “inconsistent with the international Human Rights framework.”



According to CSW, this legislation could also misinterpreted as “anyone who talks about their faith to someone of a different religion could be accused of attempted conversion, and punished by law.”



 



Nepalese Christians holding their Bibles / NCM



“This endangers two internationally guaranteed fundamental rights of every individual: firstly the right to enjoy full freedom of expression, and secondly the right to follow a religion of his or her own choice and to manifest that religion in word and action", the release states.



Five states in neighbouring India currently have anti-conversion laws. The regulation stated that those who wish to convert to another religion must first gain official permission.



Religious leaders are also required by law to report conversions or risk a three-year jail sentence themselves, prompting calls for greater freedom for minority faith groups.



"The freedom to choose and change one's faith is a fundamental right which must be upheld as an essential part of any constitution which adheres to international human rights principles," CSW chief executive Mervyn Thomas said.



"Nepal is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which guarantees the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his or her choice”, Thomas added.



CHRISTIAN REACTIONS



Christian organisations all over the world helped after the earthquake which killed more than 2,300 people, injured 6,000 and destroyed thousands of homes. Now, many associations and individuals have already raised their voices against the new Constitution.



Lokmani Dhakal, one of the four Christians in Nepal's 601-member Constituent Assembly, reiterated the same concerns when he addressed a gathering of 60 Christian leaders at an ecumenical conference in Kathmandu on 6 July. "Without freedom to speak about one's faith, what is the meaning of religious freedom?”, he argued.



 



Christian churches and organisations helped during the earthquake / imb.org



 “We want secularism to be institutionalized in such a way that it is an unchangeable provision in the new constitution. We want the Constitution to ensure religious rights and form a religious commission,” said C. B. Gahatraj, General Secretary of the National Federation of Christians.



Meanwhile, Muslim leaders have also raised serious objections and have protested a draft of a long-delayed republican Constitution for failing to honour pledges made by previous governments to protect their rights.



On the contrary, Nepal's pro-Hindu Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, the fourth largest party in the parliament is demanding that the constitution declare Nepal a Hindu nation.



Officially, there are at least a million Muslims in Nepal and 300,000 Christians, though Christian groups say the population could be as much as 2.5 million.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Proposed Nepal Constitution threatens religious freedom
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict

Shira Sorko-Ram, pastor and journalist in Israel, shares her views and a historical and biblical context on the latest events.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ” Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ”

Evangelical Focus asked the well-known Pentecostal pastor about his “open” approach to Roman Catholicism. Traettino defended his position about ecumenism during the Italian Evangelical Alliance 2016 assembly (8-9 April, Rome).

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA

Influence in society, evangelical identity and projects in Europe. An interview with Thomas Bucher, secretary general of the European Evangelical Alliance.

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch

Author and international speaker Dr Pablo Martínez discusses the main challenges in Europe nowadays and hopes Evangelical Focus will be a useful tool to help build bridges between churches and society.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
I am not on sale I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

 
The abilities of Mefi-Boset The abilities of Mefi-Boset

Christian ministry Mefi-Boset has been working with people with intellectual disabilities in their leisure time, and supporting their families in Terrassa and Barcelona (Spain) for 20 years. 

 
Re-evangelise Europe and renew the biblical church Re-evangelise Europe and renew the biblical church

The 2017 European Leadership Forum gathered hundreds in Poland to celebrate the Reformation and connect to better share the gospel in diverse national contexts. See picture gallery.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country ‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country

Bilbao hosted the Spanish Evangelical Alliance's annual meeting (assembly). Politicians, professors and evangelical representatives shared views on social reconciliation. The theme was also analysed from a theological perspective and in workshops. 

 
WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues

A selection of pictures of World Press Photo 2017.

 
The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi spoke about how the biblical worldview shaped the West. 300 professionals attended annual GBG meeting on faith and work in Cullera (Spain). Photos: J.P. Serrano, S. Vera.

 
Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016 Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016

Around 1,000 young Christian leaders from 150 countries are participating in the 2016 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering, to reflect on global mission.

 
“Spain, we pray for you” “Spain, we pray for you”

Hundreds of evangelical Christians from many denominations marched in Madrid (Spain) to pray for their city, the authorities and asking God to bring hope to its society. Many gathered in other cities on June, 11.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Walk Walk

A two-minute video on the meaning of Jude 24.

 
How can local churches evangelise their communities? How can local churches evangelise their communities?

Evangelist Michael Green speaks on how to mobilise the local church for effective evangelism.

 
What is scientism? What is scientism?

“Scientism is the view that Science provides knowledge, and that is the only source on knowledge”, says Rik Peels, Researcher at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.

 
Living without your favourite things Living without your favourite things

A video by Open Doors UK & Ireland explains to children what it means to be a refugee. 

 
Playmobil animation on Luther’s life Playmobil animation on Luther’s life

British video platform GoChatter uses 4,000 individual photos to create stop motion video on Martin Luther's life.

 
Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi on how the Protestant Reformation underlined individualism as a means to please God, and how secular Europe corrupted it.

 
Students in Europe: “We are present” Students in Europe: “We are present”

A summary video of the IFES Europe conference which brought together 1,700 students from many countries in Aschaffenburg (Germany) to reflect on God's mission in society.

 
You-To live-How? You-To live-How?

The Roldan Camacho are a Spanish couple with deafness. They tell us how the whole family experiences everyday life through sign language. A video report by Gabriela Pérez.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.