Bombs exploded in two churches in Nepals easternmost Jhapa district in September 2015, only hours after the overwhelmingly constituent assembly (CA) rejected proposals to make Nepal a Hindu state. Another two bombs planted in the area’s churches did not explode inside, although one of them detonated later at a police station towhich it had been removed.
Nepal was declared a secular republic in 2008; prior to that date it was the only Hindu kingdom in the world. Hindu fundamentalists have been pushing for Nepal to move towards becoming a Hindu state and to put pressure on Christians and followers of other non-Hindu religions for some time. Although the government voted to keep Nepal as a secular state, there are still dangers for Christians from proposed legislation which would not allow Nepalese citizens to change religion and would punish anyone who attempts to change or convert someone from one religion to another’.
Nepal has experienced rapid church growth since its borders were opened to foreign missionaries in the 1950s, even though they were not permitted to evangelise the local population. At that time, Christian numbers were extremely small, perhaps under a hundred Christians total. official in 2011 revealed that by then there were 364,000 Christians, but many Nepalese Christians believe the real figures are much higher.
Over 8,000 people died in two major earthquakes in April 2015 and hundreds of thousands were displaced Christians are often marginalised in Nepal and many were overlooked in aid distribution because of their faith. Nepalese believers are often extremely poor as a result of ongoing discrimination and marginalisation Christians are also sometimes subject to threats and violent attacks. Some church leaders sent their children abroad for safety after a blacklist of pastors was published in certain media.
Give thanks for the rapid growth of the church in Nepal over recent decades. Pray for wisdom for authorities at every level as they begin to implement the new constitution that has been many years in the making. Pray that the legislation that punishes anyone involved in converting someone from one religion to another will be amended so that Nepalese citizens can freely choose to become Christians. Ask the Lord to provide the material needs of all those who lost their homes in the earthquakes. Pray that God will comfort the many who have lost loved ones.