By BosNewsLife Asia Service
KATMANDU, NEPAL (BosNewsLife)– Christian aid workers were among those desperately searching for survivors who may be buried amid the rubble in the Nepalese capital of Katmandu, or trapped in remote mountain villages, as the death toll soared past 4,000 from Saturday’s massive earthquake.
Matt Darvas, a member of the aid group World Vision, told the Associated Press news agency that many of those villages will be accessible only by helicopter.
“Villages like this are routinely affected by landslides, and it’s not uncommon for entire villages of 200, 300, up to 1,000 people to be completely buried by rock falls,” Darvas said.
The tally does not include 18 people killed in an avalanche triggered by the earthquake that buried part of the base camp at Mount Everest, or the 61 people killed in India and 20 reported dead in Tibet.
This weekend’s earthquake, the worst in decades, also added to concern among Nepal’s minority hristians that politicians will use it to further delay a new constitution that would guarantee them equal rights and religious freedoms.
The country had been expecting the new constitution to be ready before its year end on April 13.
Heavily Hindu Nepal is still overcoming the legacy of its 10-year Maoist insurgency and the final abolition of its monarchy in 2008, with Christians caught in the middle of a power struggle and debate over the country’s future.
There’s “a lot more still to be done” before Nepal’s political parties arrive at a consensus on that Constitution, a leader of one of the ruling parties said, according to World Watch Monitor (WWM) news agency.
WWM, the news agency of Christian advocacy group Open Doors, quoted KP Sharma Oli of the United Marxist Leninist party as saying it’s unlikely to be ready by the latest proposed date of May 29.
He warned the country might even have to wait another year, despite Prime Minister Sushil Koirala remarks that the constitution was just “a mouse click away”.