05/22/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – With recent events, including arson, arrests on religiously divisive charges, and staged shootings, religious liberty in Nepal is on the decline with Christians being actively targeted by Hindu radicals. In recent months, there has been a non-stop string of persecution incidents, beginning in early March when a church in Dhading District was set on fire, rebuilt, and then set on fire again.
Unfortunately, this church attack was only the beginning of a series of events affecting Christians across Nepal. The pinnacle of these events took place when a radical Hindu cleric was arrested for faking an assassination attempt on himself earlier this month in an attempt to stoke religious hatred against Christians.
This Hindu cleric, Lakshmi Raj Acharya, forced one of his followers to shoot and wound him on April 8. The cleric’s follower later confessed that he was coerced into doing this so that Acharya could blame Christians in order to incite religious violence.
The chief of police at the Morang District Police Office, SP Arun Kumar BC, told The Himalayan Times, “The attackers were asked to shoot him in the arms, supposedly ‘in the name of country and religion’ by Acharya. However, the shooter, Madav Chaudhary, took a bad aim and the bullet hit Acharya on his right chest.”
Ultimately, this extreme action was motivated by the desire to reestablish Nepal as a Hindu kingdom. This motivation was confirmed by Acharya’s confession when he was arrested on May 7 as he was attempting to flee to India.
“This man was trying everything so that Hindus would follow him, but no one followed,” BP Khanal, National Coordinator to Dharmik Chautari Nepal, told International Christian Concern (ICC). “Eventually, he was discovered and such plots will never be tried again.”
This attempt to bring hostility and false accusations against Christians was not an isolated event; rather, it has been accompanied by a series of arrests and arson attacks.
Read more at International Christian Concern.