There are 1.3 million Christians in Nepal from a population of 30.3 million.
In Nepal, Christians from a Hindu background are put under the most pressure. They are viewed as deviating from the faith of the ancestors, and therefore breaking with their culture and national identity. Converts experience pressure from family, friends, community and local authorities, as do members of Protestant churches.
Nepal has a great deal of political instability, driven by governmental infighting as well as a constant push-and-pull between powerful neighbours China and India. Hindu extremists occasionally take advantage of this by attacking Christians.
There is also an anti-conversion law in place in Nepal, which has been used to expel foreign citizens recently. This law can be broadly applied and, since it says that anyone who causes an individual to convert to a different religion can be imprisoned, fined or deported, it has been used to target Christians. In some areas, believers have been left out of government Covid-19 relief, reinforcing their status as second-class citizens.
The country was on lockdown for almost a year in 2020, but as things opened up again, a second wave was inevitable in 2021. Christian communities have been particularly vulnerable, as many depend on agriculture or run small business for their livelihood, while others sustain their families through working as labourers – often receiving low income. Thankfully, your support has supplied vital aid to many of our brothers and sisters in crisis.
“In my village they do not allow me to fetch water from the village well, and we’re not allowed to even touch the handle of the water pump.” Bhumika
Bhumika (not her real name) from Nepal has been prevented by her Hindu neighbours from fetching water from the pump because of her Christian faith. “In my village they do not allow me to fetch water from the village well, and we are not allowed to even touch the handle of the water pump,” she shares. “Often I went secretly at night to fetch water.”
Whenever there was a prayer or worship meeting at Bhumika’s house, neighbours would try to cause disruption. Bhumika also faced persecution from her in-laws. Whenever someone from the family was ill, they blamed Bhumika and her husband Deepak’s faith.
But praise God for His work! Through your prayers and support, Open Doors local partners were able to provide a water pump outside Bhumika’s house, as well as a few goats to help the family support themselves.
Nepal has fallen two spots in the 2021 World Watch List—and yet, persecution actually rose. But persecution rose worldwide, so it means Nepal is lower on the list. Pressure is high for Christians in every sphere of life. This shows how restrictive life is for Christian converts from Hinduism, and how much the governing authorities make life difficult for followers of Jesus.
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Nepal. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
Open Doors works through local partners to strengthen Christians in Nepal by providing Bibles, training for Christians and church leaders, socio-economic aid and legal support.
Almighty God, protect, strengthen and encourage our family in Nepal amid constant pressure. Provide opportunities for Your children to safely tell others about You. Give them courage and wisdom in those moments, and use them to draw others to You. May the anti-conversion law not be used to unjustly target Christians. Build Your church in Nepal. Amen.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.