Attacks on Christians again in Nepal

July 28th, 2010 - 1:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, July 28 (IANS) Attacks on Christians have resumed in this country with a mob breaking a 68-year-old Indian Army veteran’s ribs for praying in a church in western Nepal, an activist has alleged.
Sher Bahadur Pun, a 68-year-old retired Nepali soldier who had served with the Indian Army, faced his worst fight last month when he and his son, Akka Bahadur Pun, were attacked by a mob during mass in Aulo village in Myagdi district in western Nepal.

While Pun, a former Hindu, embraced Christianity when he was serving with the Indian Army in India’s Chennai city, his son was born a Christian. The 24-year-old was the pastor of a small Protestant church in Aulo run from a rented room.

In April, the village decided to build a temple dedicated to two Hindu goddesses of power. The Puns refused to follow the villagers’ instructions to worship the idols in the temple. The refusal led to swift retaliation.

“On June 5, about 50 people were praying in the church when it was stormed by a mob of nearly two dozen people,” says Madan Adhikari, programme coordinator of the Voice of the Martyrs-Nepal, the local branch of an American organisation.

“They asked the people to stop the service and when the Puns refused, they were assaulted severely. Pun fractured two ribs in the attack.”

The church was closed and the Puns were compelled to leave the village. The father and son took shelter in Beni, the main town in the district.

The father and son were later allowed to return home. However, the church remains closed.

The Myagdi incident comes after an attack on five Christians, including two women, in Chanauta village in Kapilavastua district in southern Nepal.

Five Tharu Christians, including a pastor and two evangelists, were asked to work on the construction of a Hindu temple in Chanauta. Though they did, they refused to eat the meat of the goat sacrificed by the villagers in the name of the idols at the new temple.

The refusal made them the target of a violent attack by the temple crowd in May.

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