The Hindu state is caught between two regional powers.
Notwithstanding a recent Maoist insurgency, Nepal has for centuries been the world’s only uniquely Hindu state. As in the US, where the President takes his oath on the Christian Bible, the prime minister of the Nepalese mountain kingdom also used to take his oath of office on the Hindu Gita.
When the Nepalese monarchy was abolished in 2008 so was the official religion. The Federal Democratic Republic that has since emerged, without any reference to Hinduism, has seen power fluctuate between the Unified Communist Party (Maoist), the Unified Marxists and Leninists (Communist Party of Nepal), and, most recently, the Nepalese Congress Party.
Yet, despite the radical political changes, Hinduism remains a dominant force in the country. Currently, 81% of Nepal’s 27 million people are Hindus, followed by 9% Buddhists, 4.4% Muslims, and 1.4% Christians.