Nepal was only Hindu Kingdom in the world until it was resolved to Secular State in 15 January 2007 with the spirit of worldliness that entered to Nepal through the western world. Nepal had to retreat from declaration of Hindu state, because of the existence of other religious groups viz Islam, Buddhism, Kirat , Christianity among many other.
Nepal once boasted about successful proclamation of Hindu Kingdom in constitution of 1948, 1951, 1959, 1962, 1990 and 2007whereas its neighboring country India that is filled with largest population of the Hinduism followers is proud of its stance to secularism.
The history shows that there were Christians, Kirats, Animists, Buddhists, Muslims etc before Nepal was declared a Hindu Kingdom and Secular Kingdom.
The entry of Hindu Aryans in Nepal: Pragya Sharma
According to Pragya Raj Sharma, author of article: Caste, Social mobility and Sanskritization in Kailash Magazine widely published in 1977; there are three stages when Nepal became Hinduized nation.
- The first groups of Hindu Aryans entered Nepal during the first century Before Christ.
- In 12th century AD, the second groups of Hindus entered Nepal via Kumau of Uttarakhand, Nothern India.
- The Hindus from India entered Nepal tarai about 300 years ago.
Author clarifies that Nepal was already crowded with other religion before Hindu religion spread to Nepal from India.
King Prithivi Naryan Shah and unification strategies (1723-1755 AD)
Prior to unification campaign of King Prithivi Narayan Shah, Nepal was crowded with the followers of other religion namely Kirat, Buddhist, and Islam along with few numbers of Christians.
Prithivi Narayan Shah tried to unify religiously diverse country through Hindu religion that he practiced. He used the process of Sanskritization, Hinduization and Nepalization movements to garner the support from the local people.
The King forced the different ethnic groups to adopt Sanskrit language of India and Hindu scriptures. Then he forced people to follow the Hindu religion to bring them under one ideology.
After the Sanskritization was successful, Hinduization into effect. The other religious groups were asked to follow the norms of Hinduism in their religious practice. Due to this each and every other religion especially Kirat,Buddhist and animists mixed their religious practices with Hinduism. These days, such converts claim to be Hindu-Buddhist.
Shah then enforced the people to unify under one country name called Nepal. According to history, Nepal had 22 and 24 kingdoms before unification. Later on a new language Nepali was developed that became lingua franca for unified kingdoms united under Nepalization, Hinduization and Sanskritization.
Sanskritized and Hinduized laws and decrees
The Hindu religious groups acted shrewdly upon the non-Hindu by drafting norms, rules, regulation, code of ethics and law by incorporations from the Sanskrit scriptures called Vedics and Puranas without discussing with non-Hindu groups.
Brahamins and Chettris of Hindu sect sanctioned high ranks for themselves under category of Taghadhari. Taghadhari means twice born caste, literally thread wearing caste.
The non-hindus viz Animists, Buddhist and Kirats among others were regarded as Matwali. Matwali is alchohol drinking caste. Now, if we trace the Vedic scriptures nothing is mentioned about Matwali caste. Hence, Hindu Brahamins and Chettris, introduced new caste system to discriminate other caste as impure caste that consumed fermented drinks.
Soon after Nepal was unified under Sanskritization, Hinduization and Nepalization the Hindu religion started soaring with advantages over other religious and cultural practitioners. People started speaking Nepali language and Hindi language along with Sanskrit, and adopted the norms of Hindu religion.
The non-hindus mixed Hinduism in their culture and respected Brahmins as priest. Buddhist stupas started getting temples around it. The non-Hindus began to forget their ancient cultures.
Christians during Malla dyanasty in Nepal
According to history rewritten by ECS magazine dated August 27, 2010 with title History of Church in Nepal authored by Ivan Sada, there were Christians in Nepal during reign of Malla Dynasty predating the reign of Shah dynasties and birth of King Prithivi Narayan Shah, the then enemy and persecutor of Christians.
Portuguese Jesuit Father Juwan Cabral
Portugese Jesuit Father Juwan Cabral had come to preach Christianity in Nepal during period of Lakshminarashima Mall in 1628 AD with the permit records in tarma patras|(legal documents imprinted in copper plates) before birth of King Prithivi Narayan Shah. This was first recorded alliance and visit of a Christian foreigner in Nepal.
Albert d’Orville and Johann Grueber –Belgian and Austrian Christian missionaries
King Pratap Malla of Kathmandu, permited Albert d’Orville and Johann Grueber to preach Christianity on the way to Lhasa in 1661 AD.
First Newar Church in Kathmandu
In 21 February 1707 AD, two Capuchin Fathers of the churches in Rome travelled to Nepal with preaching of Christianity on the way to Tibet mission. These two Fathers preached Christianity to Newars of Patan, Kathmandu and Bhaktapur along with their close connection with kings of Gorkha and Tanahun for about 57 years and established Assumptions of our Lady in Wotu tole in Kathmandu in March 24, 1760 AD with the blessing of Father Tranquillis.
Prithivi Narayan Shah and persecuted Nepali Newar Christians
In 1769 the Newar Christians were compelled to leave the country when King Prithvi Narayan Shah came to rule over Kathmandu. In the beginning, King Prithvi Narayan Shah was very impressed by the Capuchin missionaries, he was aware of the social work they were doing. In response to their positive work for Nepal, Prithvi Narayan Shah called them to expand into Nuwakot as it was the capital of Nepal at that time. Unfortunately the Capuchin missionaries could not accept his offer due to the extreme lack of human resources available in that location. Later King Prithvi Narayan Shah got very angry with them when English soldiers attacked Sindhuligadhi as suspicion fell on the Capuchin missionaries that they were involved in the scheme. In reality, the Capuchin missionaries were not responsible for inviting the English soldiers to Nepal but it was the muslim businessman named Umda and a mendicant monk named Ramdas who had taken the invitation letter from King Jaya Prakash Malla to the high commissioner of East India company in Betiah. After this incident, the Capuchin missionaries and the Newar Christians were banished from Nepal.
In Kirtipur, King Prithivi Narayan Shah started treating the common people inhumanely by cutting their noses. Seeing such brutal acts, a Christian delegation was raised up and went to King Prithivi Narayan Shah to request him to stop this horrific act. The king felt the Christian delegation was interfering in his personal matter, which only infuriated him even more. This led him to banish the five Capuchin missionaries and 62 members of the 14 Newar Christian families from Kathmandu on February 10th 1769. They travelled a long way crossing many hills and facing many dangers as they passed through the Chitwan jungle until finally they reached the village named Chuhari in Northern Bihar of India on Feb 17th1769 where they settled. -Naresh Duwal(In search of Nepali Christians banished from Nepal 244 years ago).
The advent of Christianity after 150 years of closure
In 1940s Dr Robert Fleming, a science teacher and orthonologist of Woodstock School from India started to knock the doors to enter Nepal by asking the permission from Government of Nepal for the study of Himalayan Birds. In October 31 1949, Bob Flaming and Dr Carl Taylor were permitted to visit Butwal, Baglung, Tansen, Tukucheand Pokhara. In 1951, permission was granted for Bob Flaming to establish the hospital in Tansen. With this advantage Christian mission workers made their way to Tansen to extend Christianity along with their medical practices and established United Mission to Nepal.
Father Marshall Moran Principal of St Xaviers school in Patna, India affiliated to Patna University visited Nepal for the supervision of annual examination in Trichandra College. King Tribhuvan granted him to establish St Xaviers school in Godavari which was later extended to Jawalakhel in 1954 AD.
Ganga Prasad Pradhan-Translator of Nepali Bible
The Nepali Christians from northeast India also started returning back to Nepal to preach gospel of CHRIST. One of the returnee Christian named Padra Ganga Prasad Pradhan officially translated Nepali Bible in 1849 with the assistance of British and Foreign Bible Society. He tried to immigrate along with 40 family members but was rejected by Nepal Government in 1914.
Finally Christians officially permitted to enter Nepal in 1950
The indigenous Nepali Christians from India immigrated to Nepal in 1950 after the Nepal government officially permitted Christians to immigration and travel. These indigenous Nepali Christian immigrants became the first ones to lay foundation of the Churches and spread of Christianity in Nepal.
Religions of Nepal before and after Nepal was declared Hindu Kingdom
The country has an area of 147,181 square kilometres (56,827 sq mi) and a population of 28 million. Hinduism is reported to be the religion of 81.34% of the population followed by Buddhism (9.04%), Islam(4.38%), Kirat (3.04%), Christianity (1.41%) practitioners of Kirant (an indigenous animist religion), 0.1 percent. There are adherents to many other religious groups, whose proportion is small. According to the chairman of the Madrassah Islamiyah Association, there are almost 2,500 madrassahs. Twenty thousand Tibetan Buddhist refugees reside in the country.-Wikipedia
The above mentioned religions are also religion before and after declaration of Nepal as Secular Kingdom. Since Nepal doesn’t respect Secular Kingdom as well, it can be called a Spiritual Kingdom in the amendment of the new constitution. Secular means separate from religion and worldly-Nepal is not separate from religion neither is it worldly or temporal.
Please refer the following attachments for further information. Thank YOU.
Nepali Around the World by Cindy L. Perry, and A Brief History of the Nepal Catholic Church