Christians in the Former Hindu Kingdom Feel Pressured Anew by Imported Hindu Nationalism

Hindutva ideology is crossing the border and making ministry more challenging for the church.

More than 15 years after Nepal officially became a secular democracy, the former Hindu monarchy may have a religious extremism problem, incited and aggravated by its closest neighbor.

In an “alarming” development, Indian Hindutva ideology and politics have begun to spread throughout the country, as local experts and journalists report. This proliferation has resulted in a recent spate of attacks and restrictions on Christians reported within the country of 30 million.

According to local sources, at least five separate incidents targeting Christians have been reported in March and April of this year.

“The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) in Nepal is rapidly growing. Aiming to protect Hinduism, they degrade Christianity and badmouth us through social media and other sources,” said Kiran Thapa, who was arrested last month for praying for people in Kathmandu.

In March, Thapa and several foreigners, all Christians, were visiting the Pashupatinath Temple, a religious World Heritage Site deeply venerated by local Hindus. When they entered the temple, they came across an elderly couple who were suffering with pain in their knees and back. The group offered to pray for them with the couple’s consent, and they subsequently reported that they were healed. More people then requested prayers from the group and reported being healed.

“I had to request them to come one by one,” said Thapa.

After two monks asked for prayer and then reported that they too had been healed of their physical afflictions, a policeman ordered the Christians to leave the Hindu temple for praying in Jesus’ name. As they were leaving, a man with an immobile hand followed the group out. When the Christians prayed for him in the …

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