» 09/22/2014, 00.00
Nepal, Hindu radicals target celebrity pop star for converting to Christianity
Anju Panta is one of the biggest stars in the country. After changing religion, she refused to perform at a Hindu festival: "My faith does not allow me to worship gods through song". Following an avalanche of criticism from media and civil society, she responds: "I have nothing to say to those who are criticizing me. May be it’s God’s plan and now I’m under the grace of God".
- One of Nepal's most popular
celebrities, singer and actress Anju Panta,
says she converted to Christianity because she found "peace" in
the Lord. Moreover responding to the fierce
criticism that her conversion has provoked from Hindu
world and the vicious smear campaign launched by radicals she says, " I have nothing to say to those who are
criticizing me. May be it's God's plan and now I'm under the grace of God .
The artist married Manoj Raj
Siwakoti, another popular singer in Nepal, in 2002. The
two have a daughter, but their
marriage did not work: after the
separation, about a year ago,
her journey of self-discovery
resulted in her conversion to Christianity. Her career
is studded with success: in December 2009, during the thirteenth edition of Close Up Hits FM Music Award, she won almost all the awards including "Best Singer" and "Best
Song of the Year." Her hits "Nabirse Timilai" is one of the most popular nationwide.
After the conversion her songwriting has also changed. Some
time ago she recorded " Jaba Ma Prabhuko Bhayar Jiuna Thale Nirasama Shanti
Paya," about the beginning of his new life in Christ and the peace
that the Lord has given her in the storm. Because of her
religious beliefs, on September 4 she refused to sing at a
Hindu festival: "My faith does not allow me to worship the Hindu deity through
song. Moreover, in those days I was not well. Though I was offered a
large amount of money, I declined
the engagement". This decision has unleashed the fury of
radical Hindu groups, but also the admiration of
the Christian community.
In Nepal, 81% of the population is of Hindu faith: out of a population of 26.6 million people, Christians are
little more than 150 thousand (0.4%), and about 7,200 are Catholics. As Fr. Silas
Bogati, a priest in the capital explains
"there are several challenges to become
Christian in the country. Many obstacles and social humiliation may come." He
advised all the Catholic community and others who want to become Catholic, "to
be firm in God. God will give you the power to overcome such obstacles. Don't
believe in any conspiracy. "
The example and witness of the singer has especially impressed the young people of Nepal. Apsara Nepali, Christian,
is the mother of three Hindu children: "My
children are reflecting on their
faith, and they are thinking about converting. We are proud to have Anju
Panta in our community, and hundreds of people are encouraged by her behavior. I'm sure that if the great singer lives a model
life, she will be an example for
Uttar Pradesh: 310 Christians "reconverted" to Hinduism with threats
It is the third incident in less than two months in the northern Indian state. Brahmins (priests), and Hindu radicals have "sacrificed" Bibles to their gods and given sacred books to the Christians to validate the ceremony. Christian leader: "alarming trend".
Karnataka: two pastors assaulted and arrested on false accusations of forced conversions
They were ambushed by 10 Hindu radicals while returning from the house of a religious believer. Insults, threats and beatings, then the complaint and arrest. The Global Council of Indian Christians: "Complicity between extremists and the government."
Catholic Church in Nepal: anti-conversion laws are unconstitutional
Sections of the new penal code that violate religious freedom translated into English. The purpose is to stir up public opinion to pressure the government. International standards on Civil and Political Rights signed by the authorities after the fall of the Hindu monarchy, violated.
Kathmandu: Christians have no right to a cemetery
The measure, which was to "preserve the sanctity of the soil near the Hindu shrine of Pashupatinath" compels a minority to seek burial sites concealed in the forest or near the rivers. Christian leader: "We fear that the Nepalese Hindu faith profane our graves." The government does not respond to the requests of the faithful.
Karnataka boys beaten and arrested for having converted to Christianity
Hindu nationalists have denounced Bhasker and Hemanth Naik of practicing forced conversions, because the refused to return to Hinduism. Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians: "The authorities' political survival depends on the fundamentalist forces, the situation is increasingly worrying."
VATICAN - JAPAN
Pope to Japanese Bishops: Be the salt and light of society, even going against the trends
During the pastoral visit of Card. Fernando Filoni, Prefect of Propaganda Fide, to the Land of the Rising Sun, Pope Francis urges the bishops and the Japanese Church to renew their missionary commitment to society, marked by suicides, divorces, religious formalism, material and spiritual poverty. The request to collaborate with ecclesial movements, perhaps in memory of the controversy with the Neocatechumenal Way.
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