Nepals ban for christian burials

Christian minor community in Nepal is fighting for permission to bury their dead relatives in Katmandu’s grounds. Around 1000 protesters were demonstrating for their lack of rights in the center of the city. Some of them carried banners with the slogan: “Give us our rights, give us burial grounds”.

Last month the government forbid Christians entombing their dead in the area of the Hindu Pashupatinath Temple. This decision has caused upraising, as they had been allowed to practice their spiritual rituals for decades. Christian practices consist on burying the dead bodies, in contradiction to the Hindu tradition, which burns them.

Protests leader, Pastor Sundar Thapa, demanded the guarantee for all Nepali Christians to be able to follow their customs in the 75 districts of the country. He declared that “If the government listens to our demands, we will [continue] peacefully living in this country and helping this country to develop. But if it doesn’t listen, then we will have to come on to the streets in coming days“.

Some even threatened that a line up of bodies will take place in front of the parliament, if land isn’t given to the purpose. Nepali politicians promised to solve the problem in the near future, finding new lands. Despite their words, there hasn’t been an improvement in “resolving the issue”, because there is no more space for new tombs.

Christians in Nepal are the 1,5 % of the total population (27 millions). Though in the last years, as the BBC’s Joanna Jolly in Kathmandu explains: “Christianity is a growing religion in Nepal – where it has become popular among low-caste Hindus as a way of escaping the rigid caste system”. This system supposes that nearly the 30% of the population that belong to the lower caste cannot participate in the social or political life of their cities. So Christianity is seen as the opportunity to improve their life and as a more just religion.

But it’s not only about religion, as Hindu nationalism tends to isolate religious minorities in the whole Indian area. It’s known that for the past years, some Hindu fundamentalist groups have attacked Christians the region. Their civil, political and social rights are diminished, so equality between religions doesn’t exist, and religious clashes like this one are common in India and surroundings.


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