Nepal Prime Minster Sushil Koirala says religious freedom will be guaranteed in the country’s new constitution, which the national political parties have promised to complete in January 2015.
Koirala made his pledge Oct. 6 to an audience of Muslims, who make up about 4 percent of Nepal’s 26 million people. Hindus account for 80 per cent, and Christians, about 1 per cent.
The prime minister’s assurances notwithstanding, the proposed constitution also contains a provision that outlaws attempts to persuade someone to leave one religion for another. Similar anti-conversion laws are on the books in several states in neighbouring India, where they are frequently used as the basis for complaints against worship services of Christians and Mulsims.