A Nepalese church service
Nepal didn’t feature on the World Watch List in 2017. However, this year the country is ranked #25. As one of the only Hindu majority countries in the world, life is beginning to change for those who choose to follow Jesus in Nepal.
Radical Hindus want Nepal reinstated as an entirely Hindu kingdom once again. But since Nepal became a secular democracy in 2008, and the devastating earthquake in 2015, Christianity has spread. The church has grown rapidly, but with this growth has come an increase in persecution.
In the last year, many churches have been targeted. Christians were jailed, and other believers had to flee their homes. Christians have also been attacked by local Hindu priests, radical groups and even their own communities.
But the number of Christians in Nepal continues to grow at a breath-taking rate.
When the Nepali president, Bidhya Devi Bhandari signed into law a bill that makes converting illegal, many believers were concerned persecution would only intensify. With Hindu’s making up 81% of the population, new Christians are afraid to share their new faith. It’s clear religious freedom in Nepal will continue to change.
Last Easter, Christian worker, Khadka, was shot in Kathmandu when leaving an Easter service.
“I heard a sound of [something] bursting behind me,” Khadka said. “I was just riding the bicycle. And I thought that street children were playing with crackers and they threw it on me. I ignored it, and kept on driving.”
“I reached [another] church service nearby my house. I was feeling a little bit of pain in my left waist. While sitting there for 10 to 15 minutes, I felt something wet on my waist, so I [asked] my friend to look. When he did, he was shocked. It was blood.”
The day after Khadka’s attack, a group burnt the vehicles belonging to a Catholic church. Khadka thinks it may be the same group.
“[Some Hindu] majority groups want to suppress us, and they want to discourage us,” Khadka said. “Physically I’m fully recovered. But psychologically, I’m a little bit disturbed. But I’m an optimistic person, so I think God will make me free of that psychological fear also.”
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