Persecution in Nepal continues to be an increasing concern for the growing Christian population of the predominantly Hindu country.
Despite the 2015 constitution guaranteeing religious freedom, parliament passed a bill in 2017 criminalising conversion to Christianity. In 2018, the prime minister and other government officials publicly said anyone found changing their religion would be expelled from the country.
The Nepalese Christian community says that they are holding fast to the principle that Christ calls His followers to share their faith, but choosing to follow Him is an individual choice, not something to be forced on anyone. Nevertheless, this community is consistently accused of forcefully converting.
Pastor Hari Tamang has been falsely charged with trafficking children and attempted conversions after he had agreed to shelter children who would have otherwise been put on the street because their former shelter could not help them any longer. Years after the traffic charges were dropped, Tamang continues to fight the charges of attempted conversion of the children.
Similar cases to that of Pastor Tamang have become more common throughout Nepal as the growth of Christianity has skyrocketed. Advocacy organisations estimate that Christians now number between two and three million throughout Nepal, comprising a larger portion of the Nepalese population than ever before. Nepal’s churches number between 10,000 and 12,000 across the country.
The church also conducts a good deal of aid distribution in communities of need throughout Nepal, which raises the suspicions of local authorities and devout Hindus who see it as a ploy for conversions.
Regardless of this, the church continues their mission and remains adamant that no forced conversions are taking place, arguing that they are simply fulfilling the teachings of their faith in aiding and serving the poor. The free exercise of religion for Christians means doing exactly that.
Sources: International Christian Concern, Global Press Journal, The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Praise God for the growth of the church and their faithfulness in spreading the Gospel and bringing salvation and eternal hope to many.
- Ask the Lord to continue using these believers to spread the Gospel, shielding their hearts against fear of opposition.
- Ask for justice for Pastor Tamang, that the case will finally be resolved. Pray for the children in his care.
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