As they prepare for baptism on Easter night, they tell their stories. More and more people are interested in Christianity since Nepal became a secular state.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – A number of Hindu Brahmins are preparing for baptism on Easter eve after years of catechesis. They are doing so because they say they found the true God in the Catholic lifestyle. Some of them spoke to AsiaNews about their journey of faith towards Jesus.
"I was born into a family that was thoroughly Brahmin,” said Sujan Poudel, from Kathmandu’s Baniyatar parish. “Going to church and reading the Bible was a taboo. But one of my friends in college was Catholic, and so I got a Bible and started reading it at night, after my family had gone to sleep.”
afterwards, “I started going to church and attend catechism classes. This helped me find out why the Catholic faith is important in a person’s life. After years of efforts, I realised that the true God is what we experience in the Catholic faith."
"God for me is equality,” Poudel added, “the true guide to a happy life, in harmony and honesty with others. I have never found such practical and true qualities in Hinduism. So Jesus became my ideal.”
Through faith, he has found a solution to "all the problems". Things are also looking up with regards to his family. "I share the Bible with them, and my brother and sister have started to come to Mass."
Pramila Pokhrel is also preparing for baptism in Pokhara, western Nepal. The young Brahmin woman is “excited" and wants to celebrate her new faith with family and friends. "I often experienced discrimination and superstitious attitudes when I was a Brahmin. For four years I have tried to become a Catholic and now the pastor of our church has allowed my baptism."
Niroj Niraula, a Brahmin teacher in Damak parish, eastern Nepal, has always "looked for a way to become a better guide" for his students. He noted that after meeting with Catholic friends he began to attend Mass, and realised he wanted to follow Jesus as an "ideal".
For Niraula, although most Christians are not Brahmin, Christianity is even more important to them because of the difficulties and discrimination they experience. "For this reason, I encourage all Brahmins to experience God, be ready to receive His grace through baptism, so as to welcome God within ourselves."
"I am going to celebrate my new life with my students and friends,” Niraula added, “and share this message with all Brahmins and non-Brahmins because I am proud to be a Catholic."
Poudel, Pokhrel, and Niraula are not alone. At least 50 people will be baptised during Easter Vigil. In Nepal, more and more people are interested in and preparing to become Catholics, especially since Nepal became a secular state a decade ago.