Imprisoned evangelist gets good news in Nepal

By June 10, 2008

Nepal (MNN) — The only Hindu monarchy is being dismantled in Nepal. A long drawn out Maoist guerrilla war forced the monarchy out of power and saw elections held for the first time in modern history. Nepal's newly-elected leadership has just changed the country from a monarchy to a republic.

While the monarchy has been forced out of power, one evangelist is hoping he gets a reprieve from the new leadership. Since 1999, Gospel For Asia pastor and evangelist Monja Tamang has been serving a 20-year prison sentence in a Nepali prison for a murder he didn't commit. Tamang was falsely convicted of killing an Englishman.

However, Founder and President of GFA KP Yohannan says Tamang may be released early. "His name is on the list. Finally we know this. It was like this two or three times [before], but now I'm hearing that, Lord willing, this month he will be released. But we may have to wait a few more months."

Manja was arrested after stumbling across the body of a murdered man. When Manja reported the incident to authorities, anti-Christian extremists accused him of being the murderer. Yohannan believes he knows why. "He had over 100 people come to know the Lord and baptized and a growing church in a very strong Hindu community in Nepal, and that's when they did everything to stop him."

Tamang has endured beatings and torture, but he has won the respect of prison officials. Yohannan says, "Everywhere he was, he led a lot of people to Christ and leading Bible studies. When prisoners are released, they're going out and joining a local church and being a witness for the Lord."

Tamang told Yohannan, "I don't understand all this, but whatever happens to me, it helped with the furtherance of the Gospel." That's exactly what's happened!

"The list" Yohannon referred to contains the names of 315 inmates. If Nepal's new Constituent Assembly approves this proposal, Manja could be released at any time. The recent elections and changes in government are thought to have delayed the release. GFA is praying that this newly-elected group will intervene in Manja's case soon.

Yohannan is asking Christians to pray. "Please pray that the government will not change their mind and they will show kindness to such an incredibly godly brother and a model prisoner. And pray for his wife and children. For years she has been waiting!"

Tamang's story inspired a song written by Shannon Wexelberg and is featured in the Discovery House Music production called "Better Than Life–Today's Stories of Faith." His story was also featured in a book with the same title. Both titles are available at http://dhp.org/btl/products.html

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