NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013

NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013
Shri Ramapir Mandir/Temple in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hindus Protest Against Christian Cemetery Around Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal

By PHP Staff
Monday, April 11, 2011
(Photo : Pashupatinath temple (पशुपितनाथ मन्िदर ) is a Hindu temple in Nepal)

NEPAL (Spero News): With a petition, the authorities of the Hindu temple of Pashupatinath (Kathmandu) challenge the right of Christians and other religious minorities to bury the dead in the area around the holy place, as laid down by a Supreme Court ruling. The move is likely to fuel new tensions between Hindu and Protestant Christian leaders, 17 days on hunger strike to demand a place to bury their dead.

In recent years, Kathmandu has been subject to rocking real estate speculation. This has limited the availability of free land and reduced the areas that were once intended for Christian and other minorities cemeteries. To resolve this problem, in 2009 the authorities granted the Christians Shleshmantak forest near the Hindu temple of Pashupatinath. The decision sparked protests from Hindus in other parts of the country and forced the local government to ban the use of the area. Despite the approval of the Supreme Court, police authorities prevent burials near the temple. In February, the Hindus destroyed more than 200 gravestones and tombs built by the Christians after the court's ruling issued on 28 January.

The debate on the burial site, however, divides the Christian community. The Catholic Church in Nepal has distanced itself from the protest, saying it had no objection to cremation. Bishop Anthony Sharma, bishop of Kathmandu, says that Nepal is a small country and land is a gift from God. In Kathmandu, thousands of families can not afford land to build a house and live camped in tents. "When the living do not have enough land - he says - there should be no objection to cremating the dead."

In Nepal more than 70% of the population is Hindu and traditionally the dead are cremated and not buried. Christians are about 3% and all other minorities buy land for their cemeteries purchased with the money of the faithful.

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