18 September, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 08/25/2011
NEPAL
New anti-conversion law causing fears, forcing Church to stop catechism course
by Kalpit Parajuli
Classes for new catechumens from other religions are postponed to further notice. Nepal’s Catholic Church was not officially represented at World Youth Day in Madrid because of the country’s tense situation.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Nepal’s Catholic Church has postponed without explanations the catechism course it had planned for people from other religions. It was set to begin shortly. Local sources say the Church took this step back because of the proposed new penal code, which bans conversion from one religion to another.

Because of tensions in the country, the Nepali Church has also stayed away from World Youth Day. “No youth officially represented the Church of Nepal in Madrid because of Nepal’s transitional situation,” said Chirendra Satyal, a Catholic media officer and journalist. “If anyone did attend, it was as an individual and not as a representative of Nepali Catholic youth.”

The establishment of a secular state in 2006 gave the Catholic Church the opportunity to perform baptism and celebrate religious feast days out in the open. Greater religious freedom and the possibility to conduct public ceremonies led to more conversions.

Each year, about 25 people are baptised. On 15 August, 30 children from the Diocese of Kathmandu had their first communion.

According to official figures, each Sunday about 300 non-Christians, especially young Hindus and Buddhists, take part in Mass in Kathmandu’s Cathedral of the Assumption. They cannot receive the communion but, at the end of the service, the presiding priest blesses them and gives them flowers as a token of welcome.

Anyone who so desires can register for catechism after Mass. If catechumens want, they can be baptised after completing the programme (three years for non-Christians). Before though, Catholic religious authorities must closely examine their request. In case of minors, the parents’ consent must be obtained.

However, under the proposed new penal code that is currently before parliament, the Catholic Church and other minority confessions might end up going underground again, like during the times of the Hindu monarchy.

For the code, any kind of communication about one’s faith to another person constitutes a form of proselytising. Penalties include fines of up to US$ 700 and five years in jail.

If the culprit is a foreigner, he or she can be expelled from the country immediately.

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
10/05/2011 NEPAL
Nepali Muslims ask Christians for help against Hindu extremism
by Kalpit Parajuli
09/01/2011 NEPAL
Hindu, Muslim and Christian women come out in defence of religious freedom
by Kalpit Parajuli
09/16/2009 PAKISTAN
Sialkot: police charges crowd at funeral for young man killed in prison for blasphemy
by Fareed Khan
08/23/2008 NEPAL
Umbrella organisation is created to lead young Catholic mission in Nepal
by Kalpit Parajuli
06/06/2011 NEPAL
New criminal code to stop conversions to Christianity
by Kalpit Parajuli

Editor's choices
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.