Nepal Plans New Criminal Code Forbidding Evangelism

Monday, June 6, 2011

by Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News International Correspondent

KATHMANDU, NEPAL (Worthy News)-- After abolishing Hinduism as its state religion, Nepal is now proposing a new criminal code forbidding a person from one faith to "convert a person, or abet him to change his religion."

Article 160 of this proposal would also prohibit conversion "by offering inducements, or without inducement".

Convicted offenders could be imprisoned for a maximum of five years and fined up to 50,000 Nepalese rupees; if a foreigner, the offender would also be deported within one week of completing his/her sentence.

Nepal's Interim Constitution prohibits proselytizing even though Nepal already signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Article 18 of the ICCPR guarantees the right to express one's religion, which U.N. officials interpret as the right to evangelize.