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Anti-Conversion Laws Threaten Religious Freedom in Nepal

Anti-Conversion Laws Threaten Religious Freedom in Nepal

Anti-conversion laws in Nepal could threaten the religious freedom of citizens, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). 

According to newly proposed Nepalese legislation, "No one shall behave, act or undertake activities that breach public order or break public peace/peace in the community; and no one shall attempt to change or convert someone from one religion to another, or disturb/jeopardise the religion of others, and such acts/activities shall be punishable by law."

CSW says the legislation "fails to allow for choosing and changing one's faith to be seen as a positive individual choice or as a matter of individual rights.” 

This means Nepalese civilians could be punished by law for speaking about their faith, or “attempted conversion.” 

CSW chief executive Mervyn Thomas said, "The freedom to choose and change one's faith is a fundamental right which must be upheld as an essential part of any constitution which adheres to international human rights principles.” 

Nepal has a Hindu-majority population of 28 million people; Christians make up less than two percent of the country’s population, Christian Today reports. 

Publication date: July 14, 2015