Story Nepal | 23 May 2024

'We secretly share the gospel'—strengthening Christians in Nepal


Show: true / Country: Nepal / Nepal
In 2010, Mukesh Shah* finally found relief from the evil spirits that had plagued him and his family. He slept soundly, freed from the exhaustion that came from the demonic oppression his family had endured for months.

He grew up in a Hindu family in Nepal. The only Christians he knew was his sister and her husband, but though they prayed for him, he wanted nothing to do with their new faith. Finally, he agreed to read a pamphlet about the Bible—anything to try to find relief from the spirits. 

When he read it, he felt peace. And that began his journey toward finding Jesus.

After his conversion, he started sleeping soundly. Eventually, all of his family members accepted Christ as their Savior. 

At that point, the only Christian household in Mukesh’s village was his. God gave him a vision expand His kingdom in the community. Mukesh spent two years in Bible training. He also attended many short trainings that helped him grow in his spiritual life and have a deeper understanding of God’s Word.  

Mukesh started his pastoral ministry in 2012. Initially, only his family members attended the fellowship. God eventually used the ministry and brought many new people to Him. At present, there are around 70-80 members in Mukesh’s church. 

However, he doesn’t have a suitable place for a church. He’d rented a room for his church for more than 10 years. But in January 2024, his landlady was threatened by members of Hindu extremist group—they told her to stop allowing the Christians to meet in her house. Given the threat, she asked Mukesh to move his congregation. He’s tried to find another room for his congregation, but so far has been turned down by everyone.

This isn’t an outlier in Nepal. The Constitution that was ratified in 2015 prohibits proselytizing and conversion, and the implementation of the Anti-Conversion Law in 2018 made conversion and proselytizing a punishable offense with five years imprisonment and a fine of more than 350 US dollars. Given that the average monthly salary in Nepal is roughly $240, this is a huge expense. Additionally, if foreigners are caught and convicted of sharing their faith, they can be deported and banned from entering the country again. 

Since the implementation of this new constitution, persecution has skyrocketed in Nepal. Mukesh is just one example of the new threats against believers.

Right now, Mukesh runs his church in a temporary tent outside his house. “We don’t know when we will get a proper place for fellowship,” he says. “During the monsoon season, it will be difficult for us to gather in this place. We are praying for it.” 
He says it’s gotten much harder for Christians to live out their faith in Nepal. “Before, it was open for us to share the gospel and distribute tracts publicly,” he says. “Hindu groups were passive as compared to the present. So, many people from my village accepted Christ. However, the situation is not the same at present. It is difficult to share the gospel and we could be falsely framed for religious conversion. We need to be cautious. Now, we secretly share the gospel.”  

Hindu groups and organizations are demanding a return to Nepal’s designation as an officially Hindu country. Their activities and monitoring against the Christians have drastically increased. They publicly harass Christians and interrupt church services. Recently, police arrested four Christians in Madhesh province, as they were sharing the gospel. In the same province, Hindu extremists burned Bibles that believers were carrying them in an autorickshaw.   
Because of these ongoing challenges, Open Doors partners in Nepal have been offering persecution preparedness training to help strengthen Christians as they endure oppression. “Madhesh Province shares an open border with India, so it is highly influenced by the Hindus there,” says Mina Rai*, an OD local partner in Nepal. “The recent arrest incident further alarmed the Christian community. They are now reluctant to share the gospel, and they are aware of the consequences. Due to this, we felt the need [to offer] persecution preparedness training in this province to encourage and nurture the Christians.”  

Mukesh was one of the believers who attended the training. He said the topics are very relevant to the present scenario and encouraged him a lot. “I learned about Satan’s strategy to make us far from God,” he says. “It uses people to persecute us. It brings religious intolerance among people. Amidst this, it is necessary to stand firm in our faith because God wants this. Many times, Christians waver from their faith during difficult situations; however, this seminar has motivated us to stand strong in our beliefs. God will surely bless us and give us strength.” 
Another Nepalese Christian, Lalita Chaudhary*, also attended the training. She was beaten by her in-laws for converting to Christianity—and now they’re trying to evict her from her home. She says this training was vital in helping her continue stand strong for Jesus. “I am very much thankful to God and Open Doors partners,” she says. “It was a blessing for me. This program helped me a lot to know about the ongoing persecution situation all over the world. I am also persecuted by my family. They persecute me mentally and threaten [me] to leave my faith. However, this seminar strengthens my faith. I knew that I was not alone in this persecution journey. The stories of God’s people encouraged me to depend on the Lord. This training became a cornerstone for me to stand in the time of difficult situations. Thank you.” 

Your gifts and prayers make programs like this possible, in Nepal and around the world. Thanks to your support, Open Doors are able to walk alongside Christians as they experience unthinkable pressure and even violence, just because they follow Jesus. Thank you for standing with your family!

During difficulties, Mukesh gets encouragement from Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” It’s a verse that can remind any of us that we can depend on God’s faithfulness. But in Mukesh’s case—and Lalita’s, and all the other Christians who attended the persecution preparedness training—it’s a verse they put into daily action, each and every day.

Please pray for these brave believers as they continue to follow Jesus. Ask God to help them be courageous and wise. Pray that God would open doors for Nepalese Christians to share the gospel with their friends, families and neighbors. And pray that He would bring about peace and openness among all people in Nepal, that following Jesus would not be seen as a crime. 
*Names changed for security reasons. 

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