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Draft constitution weighed in light of public opinion

By July 23, 2015
(Graphic courtesy GFA)

(Graphic courtesy GFA)

Nepal (GFA/MNN) — Nepal’s earthquake survivors are still trying to recover from April’s devastating earthquake, and another big change is on its way.

According to Gospel for Asia (GFA), Nepal’s government is getting a report today that tells the public’s view of a draft constitution. A majority of the country’s 30 million citizens took part in the conversation; some 200,000 copies of the draft constitution were made available for public review.

An interim constitution has governed Nepal since the country’s monarchy was dispelled in 2007, and plans to establish a finalized ruling document have come and gone multiple times. Many people hope the current draft constitution is a sign that Nepal is finally moving toward democracy.

The Constituent Assembly (CA) hopes to ratify the constitution by mid-August.

Believers fear their freedom to share Christ will be severely restricted if the draft constitution isn’t changed. A controversial anti-conversion law could cause problems for Christians and other religious minorities, if it’s included in the final copy.

Open Doors USA reports if anyone is found guilty for breaking this law, they could be thrown in prison for a maximum of five years and be fined up to 50,000 Nepalese rupees.

(Photo courtesy Gospel for Asia)

(Photo courtesy Gospel for Asia)

Please pray that governing authorities will be guided by wisdom as they work to finalize Nepal’s constitution. Pray that God’s people will be granted the freedom to worship Him in safety.

Violence erupted between police and protesters in southern Nepal when government officials held a public meeting to gain citizen input to the constitution, according to news reports from the region. The protesters threw chairs at the deputy prime minister.

This isolated country wedged between India and China historically has been a Hindu nation, and most protesters are demanding a return to that status. Nepalese monarchs advocated Hinduism, and the people believed their monarchs were the reincarnation of Vishnu, a Hindu god.

A secular republic led by Maoists abolished the traditional monarchies in 2008 and welcomed the humanitarian aid of Christian organizations. Only about 2% of Nepalese are Christians.

Gospel for Asia has a long-standing history of support in Nepal for Believers Church, a network of 450 churches and 20 Bridge of Hope Centers that serve downtrodden children.

(Photo courtesy Gospel for Asia)

(Photo courtesy Gospel for Asia)

During the earthquakes in April and May, Gospel for Asia responded quickly with Believers Church workers already on the ground. Their response grew to include Compassion Services teams that delivered basic supplies and other goods and built shelters in remote mountain areas.

Along with praying for the spiritual freedom of Nepal’s residents, you can help them regain physical stability through GFA. Click here to send help and hope through GFA’s Earthquake Relief Fund.

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