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Nepal’s Church does not take sides in elections, prays for peace

November 12, 2013 - Nepal's Catholic Church has called on the faithful to pray that the elections next week take place in a peaceful atmosphere. "The Church does not give voting instructions. The faithful are free to choose from over 100 parties running to renew the Constituent Assembly," Bishop Anthony Sharma, Vicar Apostolic of Nepal told AsiaNews. The election on 19 November comes after five years of political chaos in which four coalition governments failed to agree on a democratic constitution after centuries of a Hindu monarchy. With 134 parties running for the election, the head of the Catholic Church in the Himalayan nation is doubtful that things will change quickly. He also wondered whether the vote will be peaceful. He expressed doubts whether a draft a constitution will be in place within a year, as promised by the main political parties. "Catholics are a minority among minorities, and we are still without a voice," the Bishop said. According to him, a democratic constitution would be a great opportunity for religious and ethnic minorities if it formally recognizes religious freedom and equal treatment of minorities, granting them rights that are presently the prerogative of Hindus, Buddhists and Hindu sects. (Source: AsiaNews)


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