We are excited to announce that we will be distributing our Bibles Plus program in Nepal. Our national contacts understand the importance of God’s Word reaching the believers in many rural communities who cannot afford to own their own Bible.
The land-locked nation of Nepal is situated between China and India and was until 2006 the world’s only official Hindu nation. As of the 2011 census, 81.3% of the Nepalese population is Hindu, 9% is Buddhist, 4.4% is Muslim, 3% is Kirant /Yumaist, 1.42% is Christian and 0.9% follow other or no religion.
Civil unrest in 1990 led to the liberalisation of government controls, including freedom to profess and practise any religion, but not to evangelise. Despite this official policy, persecution of Christians continued, particularly for those who shared their faith with Hindus. Those who convert to religions other than Hinduism face social rejection and the possibility of violence.
In April 2008, Christians welcomed the victory of the Maoist party in elections held for an assembly to rewrite the constitution and make the nation a democratic republic. Many believers saw the Maoist party victory as a step toward greater religious freedom.
With the Prime Minister’s resignation in 2010, the government remains insolvent, and constitutional reform remains delayed.
While persecution is less acute than in the past, it still remains active today.
Christian killed while praying for his attackerAn elder of the Believers Church in Nepal was tragically killed in the early morning hours of 20 October 2013 while praying for someone who was supposedly quite ill. At 3am, 36-year-old Debalal was called to the home of Kumar Sardar who urgently requested prayer, stating that he was experiencing pain. At first, Debalal was reluctant to visit the man’s home due to the late hour and also because Kumar and his family were known to be devout Hindus.
During the prayer time, Kumar left the room, returning with an iron rod and a sharp, curved knife called a khukuri. He then began beating Debalal severely with the iron rod prior to slitting the unsuspecting believer’s throat. None of the neighbours, who should have heard the attack taking place, intervened. While Kumar is presently in police custody, Debalal’s distraught wife and sons are now experiencing tremendous grief over the vicious act of violence that was perpetrated against their loved one.
Churches leader’s home burned downA church leader living among the Brahmin, the Hindu upper caste, recently lost his home and belongings when villagers burnt down his home. While Karuna’s primary job is to visit and encourage believers in the area, he has also led many Hindus to Christ, angering those in the village. On several occasions, villagers threatened to kill Karuna, his wife and their two children if he continued to evangelise.
In early January 2014 the villagers burnt Karuna’s home while he and his family were away fellowshipping with other Christians. They also repeated their threat to kill him if he continues preaching the Gospel.