Nepal: 8 Christians on trial for proselytizing after found distributing Bibles

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Eight Christians are facing a judicial trial in Nepal over charges of evangelizing. The eight Christians put on trial include seven lay Christians and a pastor. These Christians are likely to be tried on charges of proselytizing, as they were found distributing bibles to school-children. The court date for their trial is not yet scheduled, however the charge sheet in being prepared against them.

Christian on trial in Nepal

On June 8, seven of them were caught distributing Bibles to the school children in district of Dolakha. Later on June 14, Reverend Shakti Pakhrin was hooked by the Nepalese police over suspicion of having close ties with the seven Christians who were seized earlier.

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The detained Christians have been indicted of distributing Bible with an intention of converting students. The respondents however, deny the allegations claiming that they were distributing the Christian material among the Christian students only.

The Nepalese authorities claim that the detained Christians have violated article 26, paragraph 3, of the Constitutional of Nepal. The charges invoked curb religious freedom stating, “No person shall act or make others act in a manner which is contrary to public health, decency and morality, or convert a person of one religion to another.”

Consequently, the Federation of National Christian Nepal has submitted a petition to the Home Affairs Minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet, urging him to get the Christian released because they are not guilty of evangelism. “Accusations against them are false and designed to create fear among other Christians,” Federation of National Christian Nepal states in its petition.