CHURCH BOMB BLASTS HEIGHTEN CONCERNS
EAST NEPAL, Nepal -- A prominent Believer’s Church pastor is under police protection after anti-Christian violence erupted in far eastern Nepal. The conflict began following the landslide decision on Monday in Kathmandu not to amend Nepal’s new constitution and declare it a Hindu nation.
Local police have asked Pastor Champak*, who started a Gospel for Asia-associated Believer’s Church 13 years ago, to stay in his home for his own safety. The church, which is among the largest in its area, has an estimated 300 believers.
Low-intensity bombs exploded in two churches in the Jhapa District without inflicting personal injuries. A third bomb taken to a police station exploded there, injuring three police officers and leaving one in grave condition.
“I am grateful for the protection the local police are providing Champak,” said Gospel for Asia Founder and International Director, Dr. K.P. Yohannan. “Upon knowledge of threats toward this pastor, the local government took proactive steps to keep peace and protect its citizens.”
Anti-social elements are not happy with the national secularism vote that happened earlier in the week. Nepal’s Constituent Assembly (CA) plans to implement the new constitution starting Sunday evening. Already, the “agitating Sanghiyia Limbuwan Party of the East has warned of burning the constitution” at the same time, according to the Kathmandu Post.
Nepalese legislators have struggled for months over a new constitution, with many points of conflict related to state boundaries and religious freedom. Earlier this week the CA declared Nepal a secular nation after an amendment failed to return the country to a Hindu state. Now, reports from Nepal indicate that the new secularism has a strict anti-conversion law, which could inhibit religious freedom there.
Yohannan continues his call for prayer concerning peace and unity in the Himalayan nation.
“Nepal has been navigating a difficult legislative process,” Yohannan said. “We remain hopeful that all constituents will live peacefully under the new constitution.”
* Pseudonym used for security purposes.