Maoist demands keep Nepal on edge

By May 11, 2010

Nepal (MNN) — Nepal's prime minister
Madhav Kumar Nepal refuses to stand down despite a week of Maoist
protests. It is anybody's guess what
will happen next as a key deadline in the country's peace process approaches,
May 28.

The Nepali Congress party said
the Prime Minister would remain in office until the Maoists
fulfilled conditions laid out in peace negotiations. There are concerns their stance could undo
the agreement and lead to civil war.

Maoist rebels have proven they
are capable of a longstanding war, having struggled against the state for a
decade before becoming the largest party in parliament in elections two years
ago.

Among the conditions in the accord is the redrafting of the
constitution. May 28 is  a crucial date in the effort to secure
lasting peace in the Himalayan nation, but lawmakers appear unlikely to meet
the deadline.

With little forward motion, some are proposing a return to
the Hindu state. Religious leaders are
in India this week for a three-day
conference. There, the head of Nepal's royalist party will try
to gain traction on a bid to restore Nepal as a Hindu state .

John Lowrey with Christian Resources International says that's
why their partner in Nepal, Pastor Reuben Rai, is asking for prayer. "His
greatest concern is what's going to happen with this government that has just
so recently opened up a little bit and made some evangelism possible. Now, if
they revert to the old government, or to the old ways, he could be shut down in
the near future." 

For now, ministry continues. Lowrey says Pastor Rai has a rural ministry, so he was mostly unaffected
by the crippling strike in Kathmandu. 

However, Lowrey notes: "At the moment, the materials that Pastor Rai has for ministry would be
available to him, until those are used up and he needs more. If we were to try
to ship more things in there, resupplying him could be hard." 

Since the sweeping political changes in 2008, Christians are
cautious but hopeful that they will experience greater freedom to share Christ. Political maneuverings threaten to dash
those hopes yet again. Pray that the
freedom to share the hope of faith in Christ will be established in this
country.

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