|Score:||64 / 100|
|Persecution Type:||Religious Nationalism|
|Persecution Level:||Very High|
|Leader:||President Bidhya Devi Bhandari|
Profile of Persecution
Religious nationalism and intense pressure
In Nepal, most of the persecution of Christians comes from Hindu radical groups who want to turn Nepal into a Hindu state again. These radical Hindu groups have close ties with Hindutva groups in neighboring India. Previously, persecution wasn’t driven by the government, but since 2015 a new constitution has been adopted, limiting freedom of religion. On August 8, 2017, the Nepalese parliament also passed anti-conversion legislation which was signed into law by the president on October 16, 2017.
There is no legal recognition of churches in Nepal. Church property is registered in the name of private persons only. According to reports by locals from different sources, after the earthquake in April 2015 the government announced that it would help rebuild temples, mosques and Buddhist shrines but did not include churches–illustrating the bias against Christianity.
How Christians are suffering
Christian converts from Hinduism face intense pressure for betraying the faith of their ancestors. At times, Hindu radicals take advantage of the ongoing political instability in the country by attacking Christians—often with impunity. And villages often form a hostile environment toward Christians in their community.
Christians in Nepal continue to struggle to obtain rights for a burial ground where they can legally bury their dead. Because of the lack of official burial grounds, believers are often forced to bury their dead in forests illegally. At times, local Hindu radicals, enraged by the Christian burials, dig up the bodies and bring them back to the homes of the Christian families or even leave the bodies in the streets. Again, the Christian community is petitioning the government to allot them land to officially bury their dead, but the issue remains unresolved. (Source: International Christian Concern)
Pray for Nepal
- Pray with converts from Hinduism, who experience persecution from their family and community and are at risk under restrictive laws. Pray for their protection and discernment to know when and where to share their faith.
- Pray that the government would abolish Articles 156 and 160 which criminalize proselytization and conversion, since both these laws are curtailing the freedom of religion and are being used against Christians.
- Pray with Hindu Christians who face the ever-present threat of violence and attacks from Hindu radicals. Pray for safety and for them to sense God’s presence and love for them.
- Pray that authorities and government leaders would investigate and prosecute those responsible for attacking Christians, socially boycotting them and expelling them from their villages.