Nepal's goddesses: religious abuse?
The Supreme Court will rule on whether a tradition of using children as living goddesses is a crime.
By Bikash Sangraula | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
Receiving goddess-treatment in this Himalayan nation is not always as good as it may sound. The tradition of isolating and worshipping prepubescent girls as living goddesses - a practice that dates back centuries among Nepal's Newar community - has recently become controversial.
In a practice that is long believed to support Nepal's king, Buddhist girls as young as 4 years old have been selected in this kingdom to serve as Kumaris, the incarnations of the Hindu goddess Taleju.
But two petitions filed at Nepal's Supreme Court, one against and one in favor of the ritual, have placed Kumaris at the center of a tug of war between religion and human rights.
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