Kathmandu. There has been a growing trend of conversion to Islam among the Nepalese, a reported said. According to Turkey’s Star newspaper, Nepal is a country where the number of Muslims has increased rapidly in the past few years.
It quoted Khorshid Alam, the head of Nepal’s Islamic Society, as saying that some 100,000 Nepalese have embraced Islam in the Asian country over the past 15 years. Alam said the number is expected to rise even further in the coming years.
This is while a Hindu or Buddhist who converts to Islam could face many challenges and difficulties in their life as a result of conversion, because some Hindu and Buddhist extremists strongly oppose such a move, he said. Despite such problems facing new converts, the rate of spread of Islam in Nepal has been remarkable he went on to say.
Islam is a minority religion in Nepal. According to the 2011 Nepal census, 4.4% of the population are Muslim.
About 97% of the Muslims live in the Terai region, while the other 3% are found mainly in the city of Kathmandu and the western hills.