New threats from an old nemesis of Nepal's Christians

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

By Joseph C. DeCaro

KATHMANDU, Nepal (Worthy News)-- A militant underground group that once forced hundreds of government officials into resigning is now threatening Christian clergy with violence if they do not give in to its extortion demands.

Pastors have reportedly received threatening phone calls and letters from the Unified National Liberation Front that has demanded money from churches all across Nepal and the Kathmandu Valley.

"The pastors who received the extortion calls do not want to go public for fear of retaliation," said Lok Mani Dhakal, general secretary of the Nepal Christian Society. "We decided to wait and watch a little longer before approaching police."

The UNLF was one of many militias that emerged after the fall of the military-backed government of the former king of Nepal in 2006; it became infamous after intimidating dozens of senior and hundreds of local government officials to resign out of fear, resulting in an administrative vacuum that caused violent crime to soar nationwide.

"It is shameful," said Bishop Narayan Sharma of Believers Church. "It shows that Nepal is on the way to becoming a failed state."