Speak Freedom in Nepal

August 13, 2015

Earlier this week, the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative issued an urgent action alert about a unfolding rights crisis in Nepal. Written by my friend Elijah Brown, the group's chief of staff, the alert notes Nepalese leaders are currently writing a new constitution "that in its current form prohibits religious freedom and criminalizes conversion." The proposed constitutional restrictions are apparently part of a push to make the nation officially a Hindu state, even though 20 percent of the population adheres to a different faith.

The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative is urging people to sign a letter to the Nepali Embassy urging religious freedom be respected in the new constitution. Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter also urged Baptists to add their names to the letter. There are more than 400 Baptist churches and fellowships in Nepal with more than 17,000 baptized believers.

"The freedom to share, choose, and change one’s religion are among the fundamental rights of man necessary for a just society and the flourishing of its citizens," the letter notes. "There is also ample evidence to suggest that heavy restrictions imposed upon freedom of religion and expression encourages social and political instability by empowering radical elements of dominant religious groups to marginalize and prosecute members of religious minorities."

I've cosigned the letter and I hope you will as well (click here for more information). They need signatories by tomorrow (Friday, August 14).