Nepal: Seven Christians arrested

Saturday, June 18, 2016

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Seven Christians were arrested for distributing biblical handbooks to hundreds of students in the Dolakha district of Nepal.

According to International Christian Concern, Nepalese authorities are charging the seven under Article 26(3) of the 2015 Nepalese Constitution: "No person shall, in the exercise of the right conferred by this Article ... convert another person from one religion to another or any act or conduct that may jeopardize other's religion."

When Nepal accepted Article 26 into its constitution last year, local Christians expressed concern that the article was not specific as to what constituted an "act to convert another person."

"These arrests are truly concerning for Christians and the future of religious freedom in Nepal," said William Stark, ICC's Regional Manager for South Asia. "Last year, many were concerned when Nepal adopted its new constitution that included the controversial Article 26. Christians feared that this article would be a weapon used to stop the growth of the Christian community. Today, Nepalese Christians have seen their fears realized with seven Christians being put through 'hell' simply for sharing their faith.

"No one should fear arrest and imprisonment for sharing their faith. ICC calls for the immediate release of these seven Christians and for Nepal to review and amend Article 26 of their constitution as it clearly violates the religious liberty of all citizens of Nepal."