How many Christians are there in Nepal?
There are 1.3 million Christians in Nepal from a population of 30.6 million.
How are Christians persecuted in Nepal?
Most Christian persecution in Nepal comes from radical Hindu groups who want the country to return to Hinduism. Though the country is no longer an official Hindu state, Christian converts from Hinduism experience significant pressure from their families and communities. If discovered, they might be expelled from their family home or even violently attacked. Christians who are members of indigenous groups might also be subjected to violent forms of persecution.
Anti-conversion laws and the destruction and forced closures of churches contribute to limiting religious freedom. Churches where foreigners gather are treated with more tolerance, though members of some Protestant churches still experience significant pressure.
Women who convert to Christianity may be locked up by immediate family members and are then deprived of basic needs, educational support, family possessions and basic legal rights such as citizenship. Christian men and boys who are recent converts are particularly vulnerable to physical and mental torture from family and society, made to feel like social outcasts. They can also face harassment in public places such as markets and the workplace.
“My family members constantly pressured me to give up my faith. They stopped talking to me and didn’t help me financially. But I never gave up.” Kabita, a nepalese christian from a Hindu background
What’s life like for Christians in Nepal?
Kabita* is a believer from a Hindu background who came to faith after Jesus healed her from an ongoing illness. But it led to persecution. She says, “When [my husband] found out about my new faith, he called me constantly and threatened me, telling me to renounce my faith. He also gave me a choice: either to leave Jesus or him. But I was firm in my faith. So he left me and married another woman.”
It hasn’t always been easy for Kabita to stand strong in her decision to follow Jesus. But God has never left her. “When I was persecuted or despised, God talked to me through Hebrew 13:5, which says, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So I always feel that God is with me even when no one stood by my side. God is everything to me.”
Although Kabita believed that God would provide, she did struggle to support herself and her sons. “But God heard my prayers and sent His people to help me. Open Doors partners helped me with goat farming. The support has been a great help for me and has increased my confidence to provide better things for my sons. Now, I can give tithes in the church through the income. I want to thank God and His people who took care of me in my difficult situation.
“Jesus is everything to me so I will never leave Him. I will live and die for Jesus.”
*Name changed for security reasons
Is it getting easier to be a Christian in Nepal?
Nepal has dropped 14 places in this year’s World Watch List, from number 34 last year. But life for Nepalese Christians has hardly changed at all. Despite a decrease in violence, pressure in almost every sphere of life went up, showing that daily life remains difficult for Christians, especially converts from Hinduism. Despite some good news – the government allowed some Christian charities to help with Covid-19 relief – the situation remains relatively unchanged for Nepal's believers.
How can I help Christians in Nepal?
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Nepal. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
Open Doors works through partners in Nepal to support Christians with Bibles and discipleship materials, biblical training, socio-economic aid and advocacy.
Lord God, we come to You in prayer for Your people in Nepal. As they endure daily pressure and discrimination in their lives, please comfort and sustain them in their faith. Be especially near to believers who have been rejected by their families and communities for choosing to follow You. May their witness and love for You draw many others to Your mercy. Amen.