Friday, June 03, 2011

Nepal Plans New Criminal Code Forbidding Evangelism

Five years after it abolished Hinduism as the state religion, Nepal is working on a new criminal code forbidding a person from one faith to “convert a person or abet him to change his religion.”

Article 160 of the proposed code also says no one will be allowed to do anything or behave in any way that could cause a person from a caste, community or creed to lose faith in his/her traditional religion or convert to a different religion. The proposal would also prohibit conversion “by offering inducements or without inducement,” and preaching “a different religion or faith with any other intent.”

If found guilty, offenders could be imprisoned for a maximum of five years and fined up to 50,000 Nepalese rupees (US$685). If the offender is a foreigner, he or she would be deported within seven days of completing the sentence.

Nepal’s Christian community, which has no representation in the Council of Ministers or in parliament, was caught unaware of the new criminal law in the offing.

“We have not heard of this,” said Lokmani Dhakal, general secretary of Nepal Christian Society. “We need to look into this.”

To read more, click here.

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