Christians Active in Nepal, Despite Growing Threats.
Earlier this year, Nepal was devastated by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that killed more than 9,000 people and left hundreds of thousands more injured. Today, the country is continuing to rebuild itself, thanks to the support of the Christian church.
Hinduism is the majority religion in Nepal, and out of Nepal’s population of 28 million, Christians make up less than 1.5 percent. While it is legal to be a Christian in Nepal, socially it is unacceptable, and Nepali Christians have suffered inequality and persecution for decades.
The threat against Christianity is so prominent that the country’s new constitution effectively renders any Christian activity in the country illegal.
The new law prohibits people from converting from one faith to another, and any activity that could, potentially, influence the conversion of another is punishable by law. This could well include any church meetings or prayer gatherings.
Despite this, the recent earthquake showed that, while the Christian church has a small footprint in the country, it is uniquely situated to help rural communities that are otherwise very difficult to reach.
Through a network of churches in the Gorkha District, the Wesleyan Church and its partner, Christian relief organization, World Hope International, recently sent a Trek Team to help the country’s most remote communities, which were some of the hardest hit and most difficult to reach.
The Trek Team endured challenging backpacking through mountains to deliver relief supplies to people who had not yet received any assistance. This included the delivery of tents to over 70 families who had lost their homes and water filters and hygiene kits to families in need.
With a severe lack of water and sanitation infrastructures due to the earthquake, these items were vital to small communities such as Palba, where pastor Binita helped to bring the two faiths together in recovery.
Despite threats of persecution from her family and village because of her faith, she organised both Christians and Hindus to work together to rebuild the only church in the community and, when the Trek Team arrived with relief supplies, she was trusted to oversee the distribution of aid to the entire community – no matter their religion.
- Give thanks for the work of Christian aid organisations, and the local Nepalese Church in bringing relief to earthquake hit regions and communities.
- Pray for Pastor Binita, and others like er, who face ostracism and persecution from families and communities, but continue to faithfully serve their people and share their faith. Pray for protection for them, and for their witness to bear fruit for the Gospel in these communities.
- Pray for the ongoing relief efforts around Nepal, and for the Church to be seen positively through their work, and not as a threat to society.
- Pray for the government as they bring in the new constitution, that it will not be used against Christians. Pray for peace across Nepal and protection for religious minorities, including Christians.
John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”