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Nepal: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 8883, tabled on 5 September 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Nepalese counterpart on freedom of religious conscience and people who wish to convert from one religion to another in that country.

Answered on

11 September 2017

The right to freedom of religion is enshrined in the Nepali Constitution of September 2015. However, we have concerns regarding the drafting of the new legislation on religious conversion, which could be interpreted in a way that would limit people’s rights to express their religion and, potentially, their right to choose their religion.

Our Embassy in Kathmandu has consistently encouraged the Government of Nepal and members of Nepal’s parliament to ensure Nepal meets its international human rights obligations. This includes ensuring the protection of the right to change religion. My officials have met with representatives from religious minorities to better understand their concerns. My predecessor, My. Hon Friend the member for Reading West (Mr Sharma), also discussed human rights with Nepali Foreign Minister Mahat at the UN on 22 September 2016. We continue to do so.

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