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|Christians in Nepal defy extremists’ demand to leave country|
|Hindu extremists in Nepal have demanded that the country’s one million Christians leave the country, prompting churches to reject threats of violence. They emphasized that their mission in the country will not change.
Last week militants bombed the Catholic cathedral in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, killing several people.
The extremist Hindu Nepal Defense Army (NDA) took responsibility for the attack in a statement distributed during May 31 public demonstrations organized by the Church, CISA reports.
“We want all the one million Christians out of the country,” their statement said.
Members of local churches make up about 2.4 percent of the Nepalese population. There are about 7,000 Catholics in Nepal.
The Catholic Church in Nepal is involved in social services with the poor, the sick and the marginalized and is generally well-received by the people.
In response to the threats the Christian community, with the support of local authorities, has alerted its members. Christians have taken security measures, with guards being organized to protect their churches.
The NDA since its inception has been fighting for the return of the Hindu monarchy which ruled Nepal for centuries, CISA says. They are protesting the democratic secular system and the rise to power of former Maoist groups.
The extremist group has already carried out several attacks on Muslims and Christians. Last year, Salesian priest Fr. Johnson Moyalan was killed in an attack.
Source and Copyright @ Catholic News Agency (CNA)