KATHMANDU, Nepal (Christian Examiner) – Two Nepal churches were bombed in a series of focused attacks suspected to be releated to extremist Hindu groups who wanted a "Hindu" constitution in mid-September -- an action that had just failed to muster legislative action. Instead Nepal was kept a secular state just prior to the attacks.
The bombs detonated in two churches, while a bomb found at another church exploded later after it was taken to a police station, injuring three police officers.
The churches were targeted in a Sept. 15 attack in Jhota, an eastern district of Nepal, in the likely retaliation for legislation that was supported to keep Nepal a secular state.
Jyoti Church in Damak-10 and Emmanuel Church in Khajurgachi sustained damages to their buildings when the bombs went off about 11:30 at night, the Kathmandu Post reported. A window and wall of one building and a gate of another were affected by the blasts.
N.A. Thulung, pastor of Jyoti Church, told AsiaNews: "Fortunately none of the faithful were present, and the only damage is to property."
But the additional bomb, placed at a church at Surunga of Kankai Municipality-3, did not detonate until it had been carried to the police station and was being diffused. Three officers were wounded.
Credit for the bombings is presumed to lie with Hindu Morcha Nepal, a Hindu radical group seeking the total conversion of Nepal to Hinduism. Anti-Christian flyers from the group were found at each of the three churches.
The flyers said Christian leaders must reconvert to Hinduism and the Christianization of Nepal is happening with the support of foreign nations, according to the Voice of the Martyrs (VOM). The group threatened to begin its own campaign if the government did not take action against Christians.
Regarding the threat from Hindu Morcha Nepal, a VOM contact said, "Churches, Christian organizations, and institutions are their targets."
Tej Prasad Poudel, head of Jhota District, said: "We are investigating what happened and who is involved. No one is justified. We will make sure all the culprits [are brought] to justice."
Religious tension throughout the predominantly Hindu country has been extremely high because of the proposed amendment. Additionally, photos of burning Bibles have been circulating throughout Nepal in an anti-Christian movement related to the political atmosphere.
The Bible burnings are hostile warnings to Christians and Christian leaders. Another VOM contact said, "They [the photos] tell them, 'Anything can happen to a Christian.'"