Nepali law criminalising ‘hurting of religious feelings’ comes into force

By World Watch Monitor

A law criminalising religious conversions and the hurting of religious feelings comes into force in Nepal today, a year after the bill was passed.

As World Watch Monitor reported last year, Nepal’s Christian minority fears the new law will be abused by those seeking to settle scores – as has happened frequently in neighbouring India.

After the bill was passed, Nepali MP Lokmani Dhakal asked for the removal of the sections criminalising conversions, saying: “It seems very clear to me that this country, when preparing the civil code, has forgotten it is a signatory to international treaties that protect the freedom of religion and human rights … Please don’t let it be possible for the world to say of Nepal that we are the kind of nation that on the one hand signs international treaties, but when making internal laws, and in implementing them, does something else.”