asia: September 03, 2015
Prayer Request for a Secular State of Nepal
As the National Coordinator of Christian Commitment to Building New Nepal (CCBNN), an organization advocating for Churches to be involved in leading communities on socio-economic issues based on Proverbs 31:8-9, I have been involved in organizing and participating in public debates with politicians and public interactions/advocacy in all regions and districts for Nepal to be declared a secular state in the new draft constitution being finalized. I am not working alone in this but am with Dharmik Chautari, a religious liberty forum, comprising of Hindu, Buddhist, Islam, Jain, Bahai and Kirat leaders. I had also to take radio and television interviews/ discussions against the demand for declaring Nepal a Hindu state in the new constitution. We are arguing that Nepal is home to many religions including Buddhism and different kinds of animism. Islam in Nepal has a history too. And there are Jains, Sikhs and Bahais too. We are also citing the agreements signed by Nepal, especially, the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights (UNDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Therefore, Nepal has to continue to be a Secular State and not a Hindu State or the minorities will be further persecuted as in the past and marginalised from the affairs of the state. This will definitely disturb peace and harmony in Nepal as we see in all South-Asian countries.
The work is quite demanding and needs to be carried out very carefully as the fundamental Hindus supported by well known Hindu associations and a political party in India are up into their arms against Christians and are supporting Nepali Hindus to use any means to have Nepal declared a Hindu state in the new constitution. This is clear from the rallies and mass meetings they have organized by bringing bus-fulls of fundamental political Hindus to Kathmandu and major cities in East and West Nepal and from their statements in their organizations' facebooks. The main issue against Christians is that of conversion and their rising numbers. Serious articles are being published daily in national newspapers against Christian conversions. Some churches have been attacked too. Our work advocating for a Secular State of Nepal is not finished yet but we hope we will know the tentative conclusion of the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (PDCC) and the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) of the Constituent Assembly (CA) soon. Religious tolerance and co-existence have to be the order of the time.
We will be grateful for your prayers that Nepal be declared a Secular State in the new constitution being finalised. Please do continue to pray for us in Nepal.
God be with us all!
Yours sincerely in Christ, Rev. Dr. Mahendra Bhattarai
Member, Board of Trusties, World Christian Endeavour Union
National Coordinator Christian Commitment to Building New Nepal (CCBNN)
Member, Dharmik Chautari Nepal (Religious Forum Nepal)
September 03, 2015, 17:04 h by Anna Visky.