Asia

Nepal Agrees to Give Christians a Cemetery

Nepal's small Christian community had formed protests demanding government allocation of land to bury their dead in crowded Kathmandu.

After spirited protests by Christians, Nepal authorities have finally conceded to their demand for a Christian cemetery amid a Hindu culture of cremation.

"We are happy," said Chari Bahadur Gahatraj, a leading pastor and secretary of the Christian Advisory Committee for a New Constitution, which led the protests. "We are now waiting to know the four corners of the burial land."

Gahatraj said the government ministries of culture and interior affairs have created a committee to identify land for a Christian cemetery in the crowded capital of Kathmandu. Another committee will study the feasibility of allocating land for Christian cemeteries in all of the Himalayan nation's 75 districts.

"It is a big victory for us," said pastor Gahatraj. "Our protests have borne fruit."

Months of Christian protests in Kathmandu, which included a parade of coffins and a chain fast, came after officials began strictly enforcing a ban on the longtime practice of Christian burials in the hills near the famous Pashupatinath ...

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