Anti-conversion law puts Nepali believers behind bars

By December 16, 2019

Nepal (MNN) — It’s a challenging season for believers in Nepal. According to the American Center for Law and Justice, 17 Christians – both foreigners and locals – were arrested this year under the 2018 anti-conversion and blasphemy law.

Bibles For The World’s John Pudaite just returned from an extended visit to the former Hindu kingdom. “There have been a number of high profile arrests… under the anti-conversion law… and each one of those is now being pushed through the courts to test what’s going on,” he reports.

“Very quietly, some of our missionaries on the ground have been monitoring these situations, even visiting some of these people in the jails.”

Anti-conversion law can’t stop ministry

In 2015, Nepal adopted a new constitution and declared itself a secular nation. Ministries like Bibles For The World hoped this signified a new era of religious freedom. However, in late 2018, Nepal’s government passed a nationwide anti-conversion and blasphemy law.

(Photo courtesy of Global Mission Nepal)

This law essentially criminalizes the act of sharing one’s faith.

“14 months later, we’re in there and kind of assessing the situation; what it might hold for the future for our ministry as well as other ministries in Nepal, and, most importantly, for the indigenous Church in Nepal,” Pudaite says.

Nepali believers remain committed to Kingdom-building endeavors, he adds.  Earlier this year, Bibles For The World distributed Scripture in Nepal with their partners’ help.

“We continue with our Bible studies, with our small groups; we continue with our evangelistic efforts, but we’re just being a little more cautious [and] doing it in different ways,” Pudaite relays from mission partners.

“This was very encouraging to see the Church of Jesus Christ adapt to the situation but keep their focus on the great command and the Great Commission. Nobody is backing off; it’s full steam ahead.”

How you can help

Bibles For The World remains committed to supplying Nepali believers with Gospels of John and the Nepali New Testament. Click here and select the “Nepal” tab to give to this project online.

Most importantly, please continue to pray.  Pray for Pudaite and his fellow leaders as they assess and re-evaluate Bibles For The World’s plans and strategy in Nepal.  Ask the Lord to strengthen persecuted Nepali Christians.

(Photo courtesy of Bibles For The World)

“We know that they’re going to come under a lot of oppression in the days ahead. The anti-Christian element is feeling empowered; they’re going to be pushing [to discover] the limits of this law,” Pudaite says.

“It’s very important that the Body of Christ comes closer together and stays together.”

 

 

Header image is a stock photo obtained via Pixabay.

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