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Nepal Facts

Score: 64 / 100
Region: Asia
Persecution Type: Religious Nationalism
Persecution Level: Very High
Population: 28,851,000
Christians: 403,000
Main Religion: N/A
Government: Federal Parliamentary Republic
Leader: President Bidhya Devi Bhandari

Profile of Persecution Methodology

Violence 28%
Church Life 74%
National Life 68%
Community Life 64%
Family Life 71%
Private Life 75%

Where Persecution Comes From

Religious nationalism is the main cause of persecution for Christians in Nepal, with radical Hindu groups, the government and local communities all working to maintain Nepal’s Hindu identity. While the country’s new constitution (adopted in 2015) officially promotes secularism, radical Hindu groups seek to make Nepal a Hindu state again, and the government has declared conversion and proselytism illegal. Because Nepal has one of the fastest-growing Christian populations in the world, persecution of believers is intensified. Pressure from neighboring India has led to an increase in radical Hindu activity as of late, much of it targeting Christians.

How Christians are Suffering

All Christian communities in Nepal are experiencing some form of persecution, but at varying levels of intensity. Roman Catholic churches and others where foreigners gather experience the least problems. Converts from Hinduism experience the worst pressure, as they are viewed as deviating from the faith of their ancestors. Converts and Protestant churches are particularly pressured by family, friends, community and local authorities to recant their faith. From time to time, Hindu radicals take advantage of the ongoing political instability by attacking Christians, oftentimes with impunity.

Examples

The Christian community is petitioning the government to allot them land to officially bury their dead, but the issue remains unresolved.

In June 2016, seven people, including proprietors of two private schools, were arrested in the Dolakha district, accused of converting others to Christianity because they were distributing Bible handbooks to children. A few days later, authorities also took Rev. Shakti Pakhrin into custody for his ties with people already under investigation for proselytizing. They were all acquitted in December 2016.

In April 2017, “unknown persons” attempted to set the Catholic Cathedral in Kathmandu on fire. The fire damaged the priest’s residence and the western part of the church. A car and two motorbikes were also completely burnt. No casualties were reported. (source: UCAN)

Pray for Nepal

  • Pray with converts from Hinduism, who experience persecution from their family and community and are at risk under new, restrictive laws. Pray for their protection and discernment to know when and where to share their faith.
  • Pray for the Nepali government, which has recently passed an even stricter set of laws. Pray that God would move among them and change their hearts toward openness to religious freedom.
  • 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.

Stories from Nepal

No News for Nepal