CHRISTIAN WITNESS FOR NEPAL

Menu

ABOUT NEPAL

 

 

THE CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY AND CURRENT UPDATE OF NEPAL

1769: NEPAL BECOMES A UNIFIED NATION STATE AND A HINDU KINGDOM AND1846-1950: AUTOCRATIC RULE OF RANA FAMILY.1950: POPULAR REVOLT SUCCEEDS IN REMOVING RANA REGIME AND INTRODUCING MULTI-PARTY DEMOCRACY WITH CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY, 1960: KING DISSOLVES PARLIAMENT REMOVES ELECTED PRIME MINISTER, AND BANS POLITICAL PARTIES. THERE IS NO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, CONVERSION IS ILLEGAL, AND CHRISTIANS ARE HARASSED AND IMPRISONED, 1975: KING BIRENDRA CROWNED “DIVINE EMPEROR” OF ALL HINDUS, 1990: PRO-DEMOCRACY DEMONSTRATIONS ESTABLISH MULTI-PARTY PARLIAMENT, FORCING KING TO BECOME CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCH.

STATE PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIAN CONVERTS ENDS, 1996: COMMUNIST PARTY OF NEPAL (MAOIST) BEGINS WHAT IS TO BE A 10-YEAR CIVIL WAR, 2002: KING GYANENDRA DISSOLVES PARLIAMENT, REMOVES PRIME MINISTER, RULES AS ABSOLUTE MONARCH, DECLARES EMERGENCY, AND DEPLOYS THE ARMY AGAINST THE MAOISTS. POLITICAL PARTIES START STREET PROTESTS AGAINST UNCONSTITUTIONAL RULE OF KING.2006: MASS PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT AND DEMONSTRATIONS FORCE KING TO RESTORE PARLIAMENT. PEACE AGREEMENT SIGNED WITH MAOISTS.

DEMOCRATIC SECULAR REPUBLIC ESTABLISHED.2008: ELECTION OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY (CA), 2012: CA FAILS TO MEET EXTENDED DEADLINE TO DRAFT AND PROMULGATE NEW CONSTITUTION AND IS DISSOLVED, LEAVING PRESIDENT, ADVISED BY CARETAKER CABINET, TO RULE BY DECREE. MARCH 2013: NON-POLITICAL GOVERNMENT FORMED UNDER CHIEF JUSTICE. ELECTIONS FOR NEW CA ANNOUNCED FOR 19 NOVEMBER 2013

CURRENT POLITICS OF NEPAL

NEPAL IS A FEDERAL REPUBLIC DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY .A FEDERAL REPUBLIC WAS ESTABLISHED IN MAY 2008 WHICH ENDED 240 YEARS OF MONARCHY RULE IN NEPAL. THE POLITICS OF NEPAL FUNCTIONS WITHIN A FRAMEWORK OF A REPUBLIC WITH A MULTI-PARTY SYSTEM. CURRENTLY, THE POSITION OF PRESIDENT (HEAD OF STATE) IS OCCUPIED BY BIDHYA DEVI BHANDARI. THE POSITION OF PRIME MINISTER (HEAD OF GOVERNMENT) IS HELD BY SHER BAHADUR DEUBA.EXECUTIVE POWER IS EXERCISED BY THE PRIME MINISTER AND HIS CABINET, WHILE LEGISLATIVE POWER IS VESTED IN THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY.

FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND EXPRESSION OF FAITH

AT PRESENT, THERE IS NO SYSTEMATIC DISCRIMINATION OR ORGANIZED SUPPRESSION OF MEMBERS OF MINORITY RELIGIONS. BUDDHISTS AND MUSLIMS HAVE GENERALLY BEEN TREATED WITH RESPECT, AS HAVE MEMBERS OF LOCAL TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS. BUT RELIGIONS WHICH ARE NEWER TO NEPAL, SUCH AS THE CHRISTIAN AND OTHER NEW RELIGION HAVE NOT ALWAYS BEEN TOLERATED. MILITANT MOVEMENTS WITH LINKS TO INDIA WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR RELIGIOUSLY-MOTIVATED KILLINGS OF CHRISTIANS IN 2007 AND 2008.

A KEY ISSUE NOW IS THAT THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF MUST BE PROTECTED FULLY IN THE NEW CONSTITUTION. THE MANDATE FOR THE CONSTITUTION IS THAT IT MUST BE FULLY CONSISTENT WITH UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUDING THE CONVENTIONS APPROVED BY NEPAL, BUT THIS IS NOT THE CASE WITH DRAFT PROPOSALS ON THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF.

CONVERSION

THE ISSUE OF CONVERSION IS CONTRAVERSIAL OR EMOTIVE IN NEPAL. ALTHOUGH AT PRESENT THERE EXISTS A GENERAL FREEDOM TO CHOOSE ONE’S PERSONAL FAITH, PUBLIC EVANGELISM AND THE TEACHING OF A NEW FAITH TO THOSE UNDER EIGHTEEN CAN PROVOKE STRONG ANTAGONISM.

DRAFT PROPOSALS FOR THE NEW CONSTITUTION DEAL WITH CONVERSION IN A PROBLEMATIC WAY. THE PROVISION THAT “NO PERSON SHALL BE ENTITLED TO CONVERT ANOTHER PERSON FROM ONE RELIGION TO ANOTHER” LEAVES LITTLE ROOM FOR SEEING RELIGIOUS CONVERSION AS A POSITIVE CHOICE, AND IT IS NOT CONSISTENT WITH NEPAL’S INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS OBLIGATIONS.

FUNERAL OR BURIAL RIGHTS

IN HINDUISM AND BUDDHISM, THE BODIES OF THE DEAD ARE TRADITIONALLY CREMATED, ALTHOUGH THERE IS ONE ETHNIC COMMUNITY, THE KIRATS, WHO BURY THEIR DEAD. THERE IS NO LAND IN NEPAL TRADITIONALLY ALLOCATED TO CHRISTIANS FOR BURIAL. CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS BOTH FIND THEMSELVES SEEKING LAND FOR BURIAL, BUT THIS IS A PARTICULARLY SEVERE PROBLEM FOR CHRISTIAN CHURCHES WHO FIND HINDUS ARE UNWILLING TO SELL LAND IF IT IS TO BE USED FOR BURIAL. IN SOME RURAL AREAS, CHRISTIANS SEEKING TO BURY THEIR DEAD HAVE FOUND THEMSELVES VICTIMS OF VIOLENT REACTIONS FROM LOCAL HINDUS WHO HAVE SEIZED AND FORCIBLY CREMATED THE BODY. THE SUPREME COURT OF NEPAL HAS ESTABLISHED THAT THE STATE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING LAND FOR BURIAL, BUT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING PROTECTION WHEN THERE ARE OBSTRUCTIONS TO THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD ON CHURCH OWNED LAND.

SITUATION OF BACKWARD COMMUNITY
OR KNOWN AS DALITS OF NEPAL

AS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE REGION CWFN IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE SITUATION OF THOSE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CASTE HIERARCHY. DALIT HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS CONSISTENTLY SAY THAT THEY VIEW THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF AS A SIGNIFICANT PART OF THEIR STRUGGLE AGAINST OPPRESSION AND MARGINALIZATION.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS

SINCE WOMEN HAVE TRADITIONALLY HAD SUCH A LOW STATUS IN SOCIETY, THE DEVELOPMENT AND PROTECTION OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND THE PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN EDUCATION AND ALL SECTORS OF SOCIETY IS A KEY ISSUE FOR THE FUTURE OF NEPAL. GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IS STILL A MAJOR PROBLEM WITHIN THE FAMILY, ON CITY STREETS, AND IN RURAL AREAS. DALIT AND ‘LOW’ CASTE WOMEN ARE PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE. THE REQUIREMENT IN THE 2008 ELECTIONS THAT 33% OF MPS MUST BE WOMEN WAS AN HISTORIC STEP FORWARD, BUT THIS HAS NOT BEEN MATCHED IN OTHER AREAS OF SOCIETY.

IMPUNITY

HOWEVER STRONG NEPAL’S LAWS MAY BE, THEY ARE IRRELEVANT IF THEY ARE NOT IMPLEMENTED PROPERLY. THE WIDESPREAD IMPUNITY FOR THOSE COMMITTING SERIOUS CRIMES IS A MAJOR ISSUE. NO ONE HAS YET BEEN PROSECUTED FOR CRIMES COMMITTED DURING THE DECADE-LONG CONFLICT. SINCE THAT TIME, THE PERPETRATORS OF MURDERS, TORTURES, RAPES AND OTHER SERIOUS CRIMES ARE NOT BEING ARRESTED, PROSECUTED OR CONVICTED. POLICE INEFFICIENCY AND CORRUPTION ARE PARTLY RESPONSIBLE, BUT POLITICAL LEADERS SHOW LITTLE DETERMINATION TO IMPLEMENT THE LAW, AND POLITICAL INTERFERENCE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL INTO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS AND PROSECUTIONS HAS BEEN A MAJOR CAUSE OF IMPUNITY FOR CRIMINALS.
CHRISTIAN WITNESS FOR NEPAL’S WORK IN NEPAL

CWFN HAS BEEN WORKING FOR OVER MANY YEARS WITH THE LOCAL, REGIONAL AND NATIONAL CHURCHES AND OTHER GROUPS, INCLUDING THE INTER-RELIGIOUS NETWORK, TO PROMOTE FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND RELATED HUMAN RIGHTS.WE HAVE ALSO SENT LETTERS IN THE NEPALI LANGUAGE TO CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY MEMBERS, AND REQUESTED TO TAKE ACTION PROVIDEEQUAL JUSTICE UNDER AND RULE OF LAW OF THE NATION OF NEPAL

Translate »