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Nepal may ban conversion, evangelization

Catholic World News - June 06, 2011

The parliament of Nepal, a Hindu monarchy until 2006, is considering a measure that would ban evangelization and conversion from one religion to another.

“The article prohibits any act which may cause a person to convert from a traditional community or faith to another, with fines and imprisonment for up to five years,” says Father Silas Bogati, executive director of Caritas Nepal and a convert from Hinduism. “If it were approved, to preach Christ in the country could become a crime.”

Only 0.2% of the nation’s 26.3 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics; an estimated 81% are Hindu, 11% are Buddhist, and 4% are Muslim. With 24 seminarians for 7,000 Catholics, Nepal is proportionally one of the world's most vocation-rich nations.

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