Saturday, September 25, 2010

Jesuit Verses Communist

Binda Pandey
A legislative panel in Nepal has proposed retaining a ban on converting others in the country's new constitution. 
Parliament has yet to decide on the proposal, but Christian leaders said they fear it is likely to be approved given that Nepal's largest political party, led by former Maoist rebels, sympathizes with the deposed king's wishes for such a ban. 
The country is forging a new constitution as part of its transition from a Hindu monarchy to a democracy. Bishop Narayan Sharma of the Believers Church said he expects approval of the ban as recommended by the Committee on Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles (CFRDP). A Sept. 13 report by the Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance said a preliminary draft the CFRDP presented to Nepal's Parliament penalizes activities aimed at encouraging others to convert, though it does not punish individuals for converting. The CFRDP chairperson, Binda Pandey, told Compass her panel's proposal was final. "We have submitted the draft to the Constituent Assembly, and no more drafts will be presented," she said. "Now the Assembly has to make a decision." Asked if the proposal violated international conventions such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Nepal is a signatory, Pandey said the committee looked at "all relevant conventions" as well as "Nepal's own unique socio-political context" before reaching the consensus. 
Pandey is from the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist). Bishop Anthony Sharma, the first ethnic Nepalese to be ordained as a Jesuit priest, 
said the panel's proposal will not alter his congregation's Christian activities. "We do not have any fear, and we will continue to do what we are doing, whether it's a Hindu constitution or a secular one," he said. "Conversion is by God; people simply respond to Him. Our philosophy is, ‘We propose and not impose.' The growth of the church in Nepal is due to the Christian witness, and not just by preaching."
Link (here) to read the full story at Charisma

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