In response to allegations of forced conversions among Nepalese citizens by over-zealous Protestants, the government is considering changing the criminal code to make it illegal to convert to any religion other than Hinduism and Buddhism.  This wouldn’t just be limited to the act of conversion itself; according to Asia News, under the new code, “anyone who preaches or tries to persuade others to change religion could get up to five years in prison and receive a fine of [around $900].”

Nepalese officials say that the move would not be intended to stigmatize Christians as a whole.  “The law is not against Christians who do great work in the service of the country,” Nepali Justice Minister Prabhu Sah said, “but is against the imposition of Christianity.”

He added, rather pointedly, that the allegations of forced conversions did not apply to Catholics.  Protestant groups vehemently denied the claims.

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