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Christians treated as second class citizens in Nepalese law

Nepal has a great deal of political instability, driven by governmental infighting as well as a constant push-and-pull between powerful neighbors, China and India. Hindu extremists occasionally take advantage of this fact by attacking Christians.

There is also an anti-conversion law in place in Nepal, which has been used to expel foreign citizens recently. This law can be broadly applied and, since it says that anyone who causes an individual to convert to a different religion can be imprisoned, fined or deported, it has been used to target Christians. In some areas, Christians have been left out of government Covid-19 relief, reinforcing their status as second-class citizens.

Christian communities have been particularly vulnerable, as many depend on agriculture or run small businesses for their livelihood, while others sustain their families through working as labourers, often receiving low income.

Christians in Nepal have a long history of persecution. That persecution takes different forms. Sometimes the persecution comes from cooked up stories of what Christians are planning to do to the country.

Nepalese Christians have also faced similar attempts to defame them and their faith. In early April, Hindu nationalists circulated a forged document on social media that showed Christian groups have outlined a plan to cause ethnic rifts among Hindus to convert them.

The document, allegedly prepared by two leading ecumenical Christian groups, Nepal Christian Society and National Churches Fellowship of Nepal noted that Christian conversion campaigns cannot succeed unless they first sew division between upper-caste of the Brahmins and the Chhetris.

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