Displaying items by tag: Nepal
Attacks on two churches in Nepal over the weekend were just the latest in a string of recent violence against Christians. The churches are in the province of Lumbini, which borders India. Photos and videos reviewed by International Christian Concern (ICC) showed broken windows and other signs of violence around the properties, including damage to fences and a broken motorbike. Another photo shared on social media showed two men, identified as pastors, being assaulted on the street. Locals smeared the pastors’ faces with a sticky black substance in a cultural sign of hatred and disrespect. The Lumbini attacks are the sixth and seventh such attacks against churches in Nepal in two weeks. ‘It’s spreading like wildfire’, a Nepalese civil society leader has told ICC. ‘Perpetrators, seeing little to no response from the authorities in recent weeks, are encouraged to act more.’
Villagers shamed the family of a girl who took her own life, especially as her mother was a Christian. Local missionaries and other church members were the only ones who came to comfort them, making a deep impression on the mother’s unbelieving son; their love and care opened his heart to the gospel, giving workers a chance to share with him more deeply and lead him to Christ. Local missionaries saw 118 people put their faith in Christ over a six-month period, and they helped train 45 pastors and others for church leadership. Workers need donations for the means to carry out such evangelism and discipleship. They request prayer for provision to fulfill their outreach goal.
Sejun’s parents sent him to an Indian Buddhist monastery when he was 4 years old. For nine years, he studied Buddhist texts eight hours a day in the hope of becoming a monk. When he grew tired of being beaten for not perfectly memorising the texts, he went home to Nepal and enrolled in school. Whilst there, he heard about Jesus and started attending church. He said, ‘I found the Christians to be loving, kind and caring. I saw how if people love Jesus they learn to love and care for others.’ Two years later, he placed his faith in Christ and received a Bible from someone at school. He learned what Scripture teaches about sin and forgiveness. He had learned a similar concept of sin from Buddhist texts, but the idea of forgiveness was new to him. ‘In the Bible, I found that our sins are forgiven by the blood of Christ.’
The following is part of an email: ‘We give thanks to God for the way the five-year community-based rehabilitation (CBR) project is going in a mountainous district of Nepal. In its first year it has already reached hundreds of people with disabilities and their families, helping them access services, including livelihoods and physical rehabilitation, and is slowly helping to change attitudes in the community so they are included with kindness and respect. C is planning a home assignment after two years without a break! Pray that his successor as leader will enjoy the work, want to stay, and adapt quickly to living remotely.’
When a pastor shared the gospel with a Nepali family, they eagerly placed their faith in Christ and began attending church regularly, walking eight miles each way to attend. But when the owner of the land they leased learned of their newfound faith in Christ, he kicked them off the land. As an extremely poor family struggling to survive, they had leased the land both to live on and to farm, giving half their crops to their landlord in payment. In addition to being evicted from the land, they were denied access to the village water tap. Our persecuted brothers and sisters in Nepal face great pressure from their communities to reject Christ or suffer the consequences of continuing harassment and beatings from nationalists who envisage Nepal becoming a ‘pure’ Hindu nation. Also the government has criminalised conversion to Christianity and declared that ‘those who change their religion should be expelled from Nepal.’
Last week you prayed for South Asia’s humanitarian crisis with 9.6 million people affected by monsoon floods (three times more deaths than last year). This week floods took a turn for the worse in Nepal. In China relentless heavy rains have pummelled areas for a month. Yangtze River areas are overwhelmed, causing anxiety along the world's largest hydroelectric power plant, the 2.3-km Three Gorges Dam Already, 40 million people have been uprooted and 400+ rivers have overflowed. The dam, 300 km west of Wuhan, threatens to flood the first city to have been hit by coronavirus. In Texas, Hurricane Hanna has left some areas ‘totally under water’ and knocked out power across a region already reeling from a surge in coronavirus cases. Pray for communities with strained health care systems caused by coronavirus now airlifting patients to larger cities or areas away from floods.
A humanitarian crisis is deepening in South Asia as new figures reveal that over 9.6 million people have been affected by monsoon floods, devastating large areas of India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Pray for the millions of people marooned in their homes, with crops destroyed by the worst floods in recent years. This year’s monsoon has come at the height of a deadly global pandemic. Tragically, already 550 people have lost their lives. Close to one third of Bangladesh has already been flooded, with forecasts of worse flooding in the coming days. Pray for God's comfort to be over those living in fear of worsening weather and deadly pandemic enemy. Pray for those mourning the death of friends and family killed by landslides, drowning and sickness. Pray also for the aid agencies and the various ministries of disaster management to have clear communication strategies to work in united support of the vulnerable.
Deshu writes, ‘I was born and raised in a Hindu family, all totally involved in idol worship. I suffered greatly from demonic attacks. I tried all kinds of medical treatments and made lots of sacrifices to our idols, but none of it helped. My neighbours who are followers of Jesus began to share with me and encourage me. I visited when a group gathered in their home to worship Jesus. They were all wonderful people and they prayed for my healing. The Lord answered their prayers and I was miraculously delivered from the demonic attacks. He became so real to me. I have placed my faith in Christ alone and have been baptised. I am so thankful to the Lord for His healing power and salvation. Please pray for me as I desire to see others find eternal freedom in Jesus.’
Nepal has a constitutional obligation to guarantee press freedom, but over ten journalists have been threatened for their coronavirus reporting since late March. One victim of death threats is the manager of Radio Janakpur, threatened after his programme described the carelessness of a coronavirus tracking centre established by a local hospital. As he left his radio station he was accosted. He now feels ‘constantly under surveillance’ whenever he goes to Janakpur. A reporter for another radio station and website was accused of sowing fear and spreading fake news after he covered the case of a woman placed in quarantine. While the ruling party and regional officials try to control media coverage and intimidate reporters, the opposition Congress Party also threatens journalists. A website editor was told, ‘You could lose your life for writing such news’, after his site reported a politician for not cooperating in quarantining someone suspected of having coronavirus.
84% of Nepal’s people are Hindus, striving to attain freedom for their souls by good works. 90% remain untouched by the Gospel. Hinduism is not just a religion for these millions, it is their culture - their way of life. Christianity is seen as foreign and as a threat to their culture. Those who choose to follow Jesus often pay a high price, yet the Church is growing. Though it is a small portion of the population, there are now believers in nearly all peoples and castes, but the tragic reality remains that over 25 million Nepalese have never yet heard of Jesus, the only one who can bring true freedom. Please pray for him to be made known among unreached peoples in hard-to-access locations; for biblical training and Christlikeness for a rising generation of church leaders; and for the help they need to win the daily poverty battle.