04/26/2007, 00.00
NEPAL
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Bomb against Christian orphanage allegedly converting children by force

by Prakash Dubey
An orphanage run by the Pentecostal Church in Birganj is attacked and one child is wounded. A Hindu extremist group claims responsibility. It says it wants to restore the country to its Hindu theocracy, accusing Christians of converting Buddhist and Hindu children to Christianity with funds from pro-Maoist groups. The establishment’s administrators reject the accusations.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – A Hindu fundamentalist group in Nepal bombed a Christian orphanage accusing its administrators of converting its non Christian children and receiving funds from pro-Maoist organisations. The explosion occurred in Birganj, Nepal’s industrial capital, at the “Grace Children Home” and wounded one child who is now in hospital.

The orphanage is run by the Pentecostal Church and is home to some 80 children from around the country who lost their parents during the Maoist insurgency.

The attack was claimed by the Nepal Defence Army (NDA), a recently-created group that wants to restore the Hindu theocracy that once ruled the country.

According to a local NDA organiser, Praban, the reasons behind the attack are two-fold: “Firstly, the Christian owners of the home are obviously converting the Hindu and Buddhist children from the hills and mountains to Christianity. [. . .] The bomb was a warning against their nefarious project. Secondly, [. . .] we have evidence that they are actually children of Maoist guerrillas who were killed in army operations during the insurgency. The Maoists don't mind if their children become Christians.

Speaking to AsiaNews, the orphanage administrators reject all the accusations saying that their work “is to help and educate poor children who have lost their families.”

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