04/05/2020 Nepal (International Christian Concern) – On March 29, police in Nepal arrested a Christian woman for allegedly creating misleading information about COVID-19. This is the second Christian in Nepal to be arrested on COVID-19 related charges.
On March 29, Janaki Dhugana, age 37, was arrested by police in the Madi Municipality of Chitwan for allegedly creating misleading information about COVID-19. Local police claim Dhugana was delusional because she reportedly said, “If you believe in Jesus and follow Christianity, you will not get the coronavirus.” Charges of indecent behavior under Section 118 of Nepal’s Civil Criminal Code were file against Dhugana.
According to local pastors contacted by International Christian Concern (ICC), Dhugana has been released from police custody. However, Dhugana has been required to pay a penalty of 5,000 rupees (approximately $41.00 USD) for her alleged crime.
Local pastors informed ICC that Dhugana often prayed for sick people at her church. Locals often complained about this behavior, but this prayer ministry was never conducted in public.
“The non-Christians and authorities have unfairly accused her,” a local Christian told ICC.
“The police and locals are against the Christian community,” the local pastors shared. “This coronavirus situation has allowed them to arrest and harass the Christian community.”