2 Killed in Church Blast in Kathmandu, Nepal (May 23, 2009)

It never ceases to amaze, or sadden, us how often religious people kills others of a different creed.

KATHMANDU, NEPAL – As we all continue to struggle with lockdowns and self-quarantine and social/physical distancing during the COVID-19 novel coronavirus epidemic those who are very religious are adapting in different ways. I would think that some whose faith is strong are putting their trust in whatever Creator they happen to believe in, sure in the conviction that they will get through all this with His/Her help.

Others are missing mass gatherings like Christian mass, or Muslim Friday prayers or Jewish celebrations, as crowds like these are anything but a good idea at a time where a potentially lethal disease spreads under such conditions.

Unfortunately, some religious leaders are not getting the memo. They continue to call for common worship and some have even said that their god will protect them from any infection, especially when they are engage in adoration of Him/Her. I call this extremism (NB: check out my podcast section for a Quick Hit on this).

May 2019 Kathmandu bombings

That some religious individuals are extremist zealots is not up for debate. By the way, did you know that ‘zealot’ was the name given to a member of an ancient Jewish sect aiming at a world Jewish theocracy and resisting the Romans until AD 70? True story.

Those of you who follow my writing know that I specialise in religious extremism, usually of the violent variety. Extremism is extremism: a form of belief that is not mainstream, moderate or normative. And yes it does veer towards violence on far too many occasions.

On this day in 2009 Hindu extremists planted a bomb in a Christian church in the Nepalese capital city, Kathmandu, killing two (including a 15-year old girl) and wounding another 15. There were approximately 100 worshipers in the church when the bomb went off. While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, a little-known Hindu group, the Nepal Defense Army, threw pamphlets around the site demanding Nepal be declared a Hindu state.

We normally associate Nepal with sherpas and Mount Everest. It looks like we have to add religious terrorism to that list. This just goes to show that there are no limits to those who kill in the name of god.

Phil Gurski
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