Eight Christians in Nepal’s Dolakha district, including one woman, were released from prison last Friday, nine days after being arrested on charges of distributing Christian literature to children at two schools with the intention to convert them. (See post from 16th June)
News of their release was greeted with thanksgiving across the Nepalese Christian community, and a thanksgiving service was held in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital.
However, the charges have not been dropped and there remain calls for the group to be punished.
Tanka Subedi, church pastor and Co-Chair of the Nepal Christian Society, told Barnabas Fund: “three of them are out on bail, whereas five of them are out on ‘general release’,” revealed. The charges against those on ‘general release’ have not been dropped; they have to appear in court as and when summoned.”
Subedi added a note of caution, saying, “A Member of Parliament for the Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal (RPP) … demanded maximum punishment for these eight Christians.”
The pastor also said that on 21st June, the Welfare Ministry circulated a letter to all District Development Committees instructing them not to approve any religious projects. This, he said, would mean a complete ban on bringing foreign funds into Nepal for such projects.
Last Wednesday, the Federation of National Christian, Nepal (FNCN), wrote to the Home Minister of Nepal appealing to him to release the imprisoned Christians. The FNCN also urged the government and other relevant bodies to maintain social and religious harmony, and to stop persecuting innocent people without any proof.
- Give thanks for the release from prison of these 8 Christians. Pray for them and their families, and especially for all remaining charges to be dropped.
- Pray for the government in Nepal to heed the call to for freedom of belief for all people, and to continue to allow funding access for religious projects in Nepal.
- Pray for the church in Nepal as it faces growing opposition under the new constitution. Pray for strength and unity amongst believers across this nation.
- Pray for a move of the Holy Spirit over Nepal, that hearts and minds will turn to the Living God and be transformed through the power of the Gospel.
Jeremiah 33 vs 3: ““Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.””