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Christians threatened; start radio stations

By June 12, 2009

Nepal (MNN) — Hindu extremists
in Nepal have threatened to use 1 million bombs against Christians in the
country unless they stop sharing the Gospel and leave, Compass Direct reports.

The Nepal Defense Army's
statement, released shortly after the bombing of Nepal's largest Roman Catholic
church, gave "Nepal's 1 million Christians a month's time to stop their
activities and leave the country."

Most recent
estimates by Voice of the Martyrs indicate that the number of Christians in the country may be closer
to 500,000, or 1.89 percent of the population. These Christians are excited about significant movement toward democracy
and more religious freedom in the last few years.

Ty Stakes with  HCJB Global visited Nepal a month
ago and said the Christians are standing firm.   

"They're very grateful for all
that God has done over recent years to bring about a climate where there is a
real push forward for freedom, where there is some religious liberty in the
country," he said. "So I don't think
anybody there is going to give up very easily. These are people who have been tried and
tested and have learned to keep walking forward. God is doing some really big some stuff in
Nepal, and the church is growing. People are really attracted to the
Gospel."

Christians in Nepal are
establishing FM radio stations in two different towns — one near Kathmandu, the
nation's capital; and the other in a town in the center of the country. The idea for the stations was born around the
year 2006 when the government began allowing private operation of radio
stations. 

"God had given some of our partners vision to do radio in the country, and they understood in
their own hearts how great an impact could be made through it," Stakes
said. 

Currently, the stations are test
broadcasting for three hours a day. The
community is already responding. 

"I'm getting reports now from
Nepal that folks are responding, that folks are saying 'Hey, we're interested in
the new station; we want to know more about what you're doing,'" Stakes related.
 

Christians will not be able to
evangelize overtly on the air, but they will use the stations to plant
churches. 

"The climate in the area is such
that you can't be extremely bold and direct on the radio. You have to be wise,"
Stakes said. "So most of our
partners…are really church planters who are using radio as a way to create in
the community an identity and to present a mechanism where they can serve the
community."

The stations air Christian music,
secular music, and community service programming. The goal is to challenge and impact the
community's perception of Christians, presenting "an identity that shows perhaps that what you've heard about Christianity is not true. Maybe these Christians do care about people,
and maybe they really do have something relevant to say," Stakes
explained. 

Evangelism occurs off the
airwaves, when people in churches and in church-planting follow up with those
who respond to the radio broadcasts. Stakes
asked for prayer as Nepalese Christians fine-tune the new radio stations. 

"You can pray…that God would give
these folks real wisdom in how to fine-tune their strategy in establishing
their identity in the community," Stakes said. "It's a real delicate balance that they need to strike, and they need
real wisdom from the Lord in order to effectively speak to the community and
present their identity so that people will be attracted to the message of the
cross."

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