Dalit Christians in Nepal and the Experience of Conversion : Challenges and Opportunities
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The present research entitled Dalit Christians in Nepal and their Experiences of Conversion: Opportunities and Challenges is qualitative research with six chapters: introduction, theory, methodology, data presentation, Discussion, and conclusion. It discussed social, cultural, eco-nomic, and political conditions of Nepal since the past till present day, with Hindu religion in center of test to see how it divided the population into two categories, 'touchable' and 'untouch-able' in the beginning and Dalits and non-Dalits in the later phase of history. It also took notice of how the Dalits were deprived of their share of birthrights of equality and acceptance. It saw discrimination, domination, and stigma with the Dalits seeking out their rid of all injustice and inhuman treatment just because their logo-name Dalit lingered in their identity, and as long as the identity lingered, they perpetually felt embarrassed and hurt. The research also found that when nothing else could deliver them from domination and discrimination, they opted to con-version. The above findings were not derived just so. It was retrieved by using valid instruments of measurement and reliable frame and pattern of interview questions. Similarly, the infor-mation was obtained from the proper informants purposively selected: key informants and Dalit converts. In addition to collecting information in valid and reliable manner, the issue of the research was tested from the Lens of the theories: Social Dominance Theory, Religious Con-version Theory, and Stigma and Social Identity Theory with minor reference to other theories. Standing on the grounds of information, it reached certain conclusions such as Hindu religion and caste system perpetually dominated and discriminated the Dalits, and in search of release from the stigma of Dalits, they took to conversion. The research also discovered that the group of people discriminated as they were; they experienced doubly discriminated after their conver-sion. Therefore, the journey of research began from the problem of dominance and discrimina-tion of Dalit, went through the test of it in the touchstone of the theories, verification of it from the valid measurement tools, and ended at finding that the Dalits in Nepal increasingly opting to conversion for acceptance and dignity.