On August 14, police in the Gorkha district responded to a complaint of cow slaughter carried out by the Buddhist Tamang community, which does not subscribe to the Hindu religious prohibition on killing cows. When police officers attempted to arrest the accused, a violent confrontation with local residents occurred, leading to the death of one bystander.
As the administrative process for registration was cumbersome and onerous, purchasing land in the name of religious entities remained difficult. In practice, congregations representing each religious group, whether registered or not, operated freely and without obstruction by having individual congregation members purchase land under their own names on the institution’s behalf.
Government authorities permitted the resident Tibetan community to celebrate Buddhist holidays and conduct other ceremonies with cultural/religious significance without obstruction, such as a small ceremony to mark the birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama, an event commemorating the Dalai Lama’s receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize, and a ceremony to commemorate the Dalai Lama’s birthday.
The government-funded Pashupati Area Development Trust maintained restrictions preventing Christian burials in a common cemetery behind the Pashupati Hindu Temple in Kathmandu. It did allow burials of individuals from non-Hindu indigenous faiths, several of which took place during the year. Some Christians reportedly traveled several hours outside of Kathmandu to conduct secret burials in non-populated areas. Many Christian communities outside of the Kathmandu Valley were able to buy land for cemeteries, or received public land from the government for that purpose. Some Christians indicated they often faced opposition to starting new cemeteries. Under pressure from the dominant local Hindu community, one Christian congregation sold land it had bought with the intention of establishing a cemetery.
The government continued to permit religious groups to establish and operate their own schools. According to the Department of Education, the executive office within the Ministry of Education, approximately 1,306 madrassahs were registered with district education offices, an increase of 113 during the year; however, some Muslim groups stated there are at least 3,500 madrassahs. The government funded the salary of one teacher for each registered religious school. The Department of Education prepared curricula for the registered schools. Muslims were able to freely participate in the Hajj.
There were no foreign missionaries who declared to the government an intent to publicly proselytize; however, dozens of Christian missionary hospitals, welfare organizations, and schools have operated for decades. There were no reports by the media or the government that these organizations engaged in proselytizing, and they operated without government interference. The government did not expel any foreign workers for proselytizing, but missionaries reported they attempted to keep their activities discreet. Many foreign Christian organizations had direct ties to local churches and sponsored clergy for religious training abroad.
Although religious education was not part of the curriculum in public schools, some public schools had a statue of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning, on their grounds.