There are 1.3 million Christians in Nepal, 4.4% of a population of 30.5 million.
What does persecution look like in Nepal?
Though Nepal is no longer an official Hindu state, most Christian persecution in Nepal comes from radical Hindu groups who want the country to return to Hinduism. Many of the Christians in Nepal are converts from Hinduism, and these converts experience significant pressure from their families and communities. If a family discovers a member is a Christian, the convert might be expelled from their family home or even violently attacked. Also limiting religious freedom are anti-conversion laws and the destruction and forced closers of churches. Churches where foreigners gather are treated with more tolerance, though members of some Protestant churches still experience significant pressure.
Christians who are members of indigenous groups also face persecution. Nepal has a rich diversity of tribes and clans where ethnic cultures, traditions and rituals are seen as very important. Once people convert to Christianity, they stop taking part in many of these traditions and are considered outcasts by the community. They might also be subjected to violent forms of persecution.
There are no hotspots for persecution of Christians in Nepal, but pressure on converts is stronger in the countryside than in the urban areas.
Kabita’s husband left her after she came to faith in Jesus.
“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. One day, my father-in-law gathered some villagers and provoked them against me. He told me to leave my house if I wouldn’t leave my faith. But those threats didn’t shake my faith. Then, he found another way to persecute me. He stopped providing electricity in my room. I had to use candles or a cell phone’s light to light the house during the night. I was despised and left alone. But all these hardships couldn’t waver my faith in Christ.”Kabita Khatri
What has changed compared to last year?
Nepal continues to be a place filled with persecution for followers of Christ. Nepal's fall in rank belies its persecution score, which stayed nearly as high as last year. 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 difficult for Nepal's believers.
Open Doors works through partners in Nepal to support Christians with Bibles and discipleship materials, biblical training, socio-economic aid and advocacy.
- Many Nepalese Christians come from Hinduism and endure the rejection of their families after they find Jesus. Pray these Christians will know the reality of their global family in Christ and will sense Christians around the world praying with them.
- Pray for Nepal's government. Ask that God would touch the hearts of Nepalese leaders, and that they would allow true religious freedom to flourish.
- Open Doors' work through partners in Nepal provides help for so many people. Ask God to bless these ministries and equip His people for "every good work" (2 Timothy 3:17) as they live out the gospel in Nepal.
Dear Lord, we come to You in prayer for Your people in Nepal. As they endure daily pressure and discrimination in their lives, will You comfort them and give them strength to carry on, in Your name? Please encourage them and help them to know You are near. In Jesus' name, Amen.