|Population||30 260 000|
|Christian Population||1 285 000 (4.2%)|
In Nepal, converts from Hinduism are put under the most pressure; they are viewed as deviating from the faith of the ancestors, and therefore breaking with their culture and their national identity. Converts—and members of Protestant churches—experience pressure from family, friends, community and local authorities. Roman Catholic churches, as well as churches where more foreigners attend, often have fewer issues.
Nepal has a great deal of political instability, driven by governmental infighting as well as a constant push-and-pull between powerful neighbours, China and India. Hindu extremists occasionally take advantage of this fact by attacking Christians.
There is also an anti-conversion law in place in Nepal, which has recently been used to expel foreign citizens. This law can be broadly applied, and since it says that anyone who causes an individual to convert to a different religion can be imprisoned, fined or deported, it has been used to target Christians. In some areas, Christians were also left out of COVID-19 relief that the government provided, re-emphasizing their status as second-class citizens.
“In my village they do not allow me to fetch water from the village well, and we are not allowed to even touch the handle of the water pump. Often, I went secretly at night to fetch water.”
When Bhumika and her husband came to faith, they were denied access to the village water resources and struggled to meet their daily needs—but thanks to the prayers and support of Open Doors partners, we could provide them with practical help and the assurance that they are not alone or forgotten.
*Name changed for security reasons
What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Nepal?
Open Doors works through church partners and volunteers in Nepal. The ministry is focused in several areas, such as Bible and Christian material distribution, training for church leaders and Christians (including persecution preparedness training) socio-economic aid (including emergency aid for COVID-19) legal help and advocacy, and special projects as requested by the local church.