WHILE on one hand abject poverty and illiteracy have led the Maoists to strengthen their hold over Nepal, on the other, Christian missionaries are trying to convert innocent and poverty ridden Nepalese by offering them enticements of monetary assitance and other aid.
According to the Himalayan Times, the strength of Christians is consistently increasing and as many as 100 churches have been built in Makwanapur district of Nepal. The local people say that nearly 60,000 people of Tamang community have already become Christians. Apart from them, people from Praja community too have become Christians in large numbers. The local population has revealed that both these communities are being converted to Christianity by tempting them with food, clothes and economic assistance.
It may be noted that the majority of population in Makwanapur belongs to Tamang community and the people of both Tamang and Praja communities are quite poor and illiterate. The minds of the converts have been filled with the beleif that Christianity will bring them relief from disease, hunger and poverty. A pastor named Bholan, of a local church, has said that all the churches in the district do not belong to any one community and they have been established with money received from different countries.
A citizen named Hari Gopal Rimal from Kalikatar region of the district has said that about 10 to 15 years ago, any person who read the Bible was sent to prison, but today the situation is such that in Kalikatar area, nearly more than a dozen churches have sprung up very recently. Rimal'scomplaint is that the people of the region are promptly taking to Christianity because they are very impressed with the aid they receive from the missionaries during their times of severe crises.