It is a kind of injustice – if he was talking about Hinduism or Buddhism, he would not have faced any problem
A policeman in Nepal has been reprimanded and punished for talking about his faith in Jesus Christ at a public, multi-faith religious gathering earlier this month, sources said.
Dilip Bhadur Gurung, a constable with the Nepal Armed Force Police (NAFP), was on three-month leave when on October 2, he spoke at the public gathering in Gulmi. A local news reporter published an article critical of his talk and informed Gurung’s superiors.
Gurung was arrested in Palpa the following day and sent back to his department in Tanau. A source who requested anonymity told Morning Star News his superiors there have decided to withhold his departmental promotion for five years as punishment.
Another source said authorities are employing a double standard.
“It is a kind of injustice – if he was talking about Hinduism or Buddhism, he would not have faced any problem,” pastor B.P. Khanal, head of The Lord’s Assembly and a social activist in Nepal said, told Morning Star News. “Taking the name of Jesus is risky in public-speaking; it is an offense against the law. People are biased and are looking for an opportunity to arrest Christians.”
At the meeting in Gulmi, Gurung spoke about how his faith in Jesus had helped him secure a good job and blessed his family life. The reporter wrote that Gurung was preaching and trying to convert people.
“The journalist was writing according to his understanding of the law, i.e. how can a government staff preach about any other faith,” Pastor Khanal said. “He saw that Gurung was carrying a Bible and thus raised objections and created news.”
After the meeting, Gurung left and checked into a hotel in Palpa, 57 miles away, where police arrested him on the morning of Oct. 3. The reporter, who had followed him, informed Gurung’s superiors and called police in Gulmi and Palpa, Pastor Khanal said.
Police called Gurung’s officer in-charge, and his superior sent him to his post in Tanau.