Nepal's persecuted Christians see remains of loved ones dug up and dumped on streets

Christians in Nepal have seen the remains of their loved ones dug up and dumped on the streets as they continue to be deprived of formal graveyards in the Hindu-majority country.

(REUTERS / Navesh Chitrakar)Women walk past collapsed houses as the wreckage is manually demolished following the April 25 earthquake in Bhaktapur, Nepal, June 5, 2015.

In a phone interview with The Christian Post via an interpreter, Federation of National Christians' general secretary C.B. Gahatraj said believers in Nepal have been struggling to secure their own burial grounds in the last few years. There were some reports of remains of dead Christians being exhumed and dumped on the streets or at relatives' homes.

The scarcity of burial grounds has forced other Christians to bury their dead in forests at night, a practice which could have legal repercussions if they are caught. However, Hindu majorities would also force them to exhume the remains and move them to another location if they bury the bodies in land not allotted for Christians.

In April last year, Republica said some of the Christians in the country have been forced to cremate their dead even though the practice goes against their tradition. National Council of Churches in Nepal's general secretary K.B. Rokaya said they have no choice because there are no available burial grounds for them.

"When Christians die in Nepal, they have two pains. One is they suffer, they grieve because of their loved ones who are no more; secondly, they have no place to bury their loved ones," Gahatraj explained to The Christian Post. "If Hindus find Christians buried in their area, they force Christians to dig them out from the graveyard, and bury the bodies in another place."

After Christians in Kathmandu went on a 40-day hunger strike, the government made an agreement with FNCN to provide believers with a temporary cemetery. The document also made provisions to form an advisory board to handle long-term plans for Christians' burial grounds, but Gahatraj noted that none of the plans have been implemented yet.

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