Nepal deported Katie Rachel Graham of Sydney, Australia, for door-to-door evangelism last week. According to authorities, the 35-year-old Christian woman was in Nepal on a student visa.
Officials arrested Graham with four Nepalese Christians on Nov. 12 in the town of Gularia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
“She breached our immigration act, engaged in conversions, which is strictly prohibited under our laws,” Bishnu Hari Upadhyaya, director of the Nepal Department of Immigration, told the TV network. Nepal banned Graham from the country for five years.
Although the former Hindu monarchy is technically a secular nation with protected religious freedoms, Nepalese laws prohibit proselytizing and convincing someone to convert from Hinduism. In spite of those rules, it has one of the fastest growing Christian populations in the world.
International Nepal Fellowship of Australia CEO Ben Thurley viewed Graham’s deportation as proof of a recent crackdown on Christians in Nepal but also a reminder for visitors to understand and abide by laws and immigration conditions, Eternity News reported.
“Arguably she breached that particular anti-conversion law,” Thurley said. “The issue for a Westerner doing it, though, also relates to somebody’s visa conditions, and if they’ve breached that law or are accused of breaching that law, they will have breached the conditions under which they’re in Nepal.” —Julia A. Seymour
Thousands of patients in the Gaza Strip are at risk of amputation or death as medical cases exceed the region’s capacity, a medical aid group said last week.
Between March 30 and Oct. 30, 5,866 patients received injuries from live gunfire during border protests, according to the Health Ministry. Doctors Without Borders (Medicins sans Frontiers, or MSF) treated 3,117 of the patients, the majority of them with gunshot wounds to their legs. The group said Gaza’s lack of proper equipment puts at least 25 percent of the patients with fractures at risk of infection. It also affects the provision of regular healthcare services in the region.
“This many patients would overstretch the best healthcare systems in the world,” said Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, MSF’s head of mission in Palestine. “In Gaza, it is a crushing blow.”
The Hamas militant group, which controls the Gaza Strip, called for the demonstrations to protest an Egyptian-backed blockade on the region. The border disputes turned violent as the militants launched rockets and mortars into Israel and Israeli forces responded with live fire and airstrikes. —O.O.
A Chinese court last week reduced the sentence of an American who faced a four-year prison sentence over his role in a bar fight. The San Francisco–based Dui Hua Foundation said authorities cut Wendell Brown’s sentence to three years. His new release date is set for Sept. 24, 2019.
Chinese authorities arrested Brown, a Detroit native, in September 2016 on charges of intentional assault. Brown said he only defended himself and denied hitting anyone at the bar. The court said he “didn’t do enough to de-escalate the situation,” Dui Hua stated.
Brown played football for Ball State University in Indiana and was teaching English and American football in southwest China at the time of his arrest. “While this is not the result we hoped for, it is nevertheless the best that can be achieved,” said John Kamm, Dui Hua’s executive director. —O.O.