Host: Hudson Institute.
Nepal's constitution guarantees freedom of religion for each of the country's religious denominations, but prohibits efforts to convert others, and foreign workers caught proselytizing have been expelled. Though officially changed in 2006 from a Hindu nation to a secular state, Nepal has recently seen a rise in Hindu extremism. Christian and Muslim religious minorities have been subjected to violent attacks by Hindu fundamentalist groups, such as the National Defense Army (NDA). On May 23, 2009, a bomb attack against Lalitpur's Catholic Church of the Assumption, claimed by the NDA, killed three people and wounded twelve. It was the first such attack against a Catholic church in Nepalese history. Days later, the NDA issued a call for all Christians to leave Nepal. Mr. Pandey will discuss this attack and the broader problem of Nepal's religious tensions, which are on the rise in an environment marked by increasing Hindu radicalism and growing influence from certain North Indian groups that promote fundamentalism for political purposes.
Added by insideronline on July 7, 2009