Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Uncertain about the future in the Maoist-ruled country,
more and more Nepalis are finding comfort in the Bible. Rev CB Gahararaj, a
Protestant clergyman and a member of the US-based Bible for the World, said
that 2012 and early 2013 have a seen a boom in sales of the sacred text.
"The number of copies sold has doubled. Stores have run out of Nepali
editions of the Bible, forcing printers to increase output," the clergyman
People are frustrated by the country's grim social and political situation,
torn by divisions between Maoists and monarchists that date back to the civil
Disappointed by the populism of the parties of the extreme left that have
ruled the country since 2008, "Many non-Christians have found a real source of
hope in the Gospel and the Bible."
Since 2007, when the monarchy fell, Nepal has been without a
constitution. In the past few years, political parties have failed to adopt the
new charter. On seven different occasions, they have failed to approve it
because of divisions or general strikes by the Maoist party.
Summary killings dating back to the civil war have complicated political
life as families of the victims have been demanded justice in recent years.
Not too long ago, a court accused Prime Minister Baburan Bhattarai, a
Maoist, of trying to stop trials involving Maoist fighters involved in
massacres, now in politics.
For Fr Robin Rai, parish at Kathmandu's Assumption Cathedral, the Church
and Christians are at work every day trying to end the "divisions and hatred
among people fomented by political parties themselves. We are praying for an end
to the impasse. Only reconciliation among the factions can allow the country to
For decades, Catholic and Protestant communities have been involved in
charity work and educational activities (from primary school to university),
taking on a major role in Nepali society, especially in the poorest regions of
With greater religious freedom in the last few years, the number of Christians
has gone up compared to before. For centuries under the monarchy, religions
other than Hinduism were banned.
According to the 2011 census, Catholic and Protestants represent 1.5 per
cent of the population, up from 0.5 per cent in 2006. In six years, the number
of Catholic rose from 4,000 to 10,000.