The Christian community in Nepal was rocked earlier this month when three churches were burned down and another was bombed. Though no one was injured, the property damage was catastrophic for all four congregations.
Morning Star News reports:
The Hebron Church building in the eastern hilly region was set on fire on May 9, Emmanuel Church’s building in western Nepal’s Doti District was burned on May 10, and the Kanchanpur Emmanuel Church building in the midwest hilly region was set ablaze on May 11. Before midnight on May 12, the Mahima Church building in Dhangadhi, in western Nepal, was bombed.
Thousands of dollars of equipment, furniture, windows, and infrastructure were damaged.
Pastor Dhirendra Rana, senior pastor of Kanchanpur Emmanuel Church said in an interview, "The miscreants broke the lock of the church and formed a heap of all the stuff present in the building, including the records of the church, 300 kilograms of grain and electric appliances, and they set everything ablaze."
The local police released tepid statements stating that the Biplab Group, a communist political party in Nepal, is under suspicion. The Christian community, however, is suspicious that a group of extremist Hindus are behind it. They cite recent social media posts with the hashtag "Esai Karan ke Virudh Hindu Jagaran Abhiyaan," translated as "Hindu Awakening Against Conversion" as evidence.
The communities affected by the attacks have expressed disapproval at the slow speed of the investigation. Though authorities have met with and taken statements from the church leadership and congregants, the investigation is seemingly stalled. No suspects have been identified and no arrests have been made.
Chair of the Religious Liberty Forum Nepal Tanka Subedi is convinced that the government has been slow-walking the investigation.
"They have not made any arrests yet, as it seems that they have been clearly notified to not carry out arrests in these cases," he told Morning Star News.