Maoist insurgency takes its toll in Nepal; ministry grows.

By February 23, 2006

Nepal (MNN)–Ten years of Nepal’s Maoist insurrection has pushed the country to the brink of humanitarian crisis. The armed conflict has claimed an estimated 15,000 lives, many of them civilians targeted by government and rebel forces.

IN Network’s Nicanor Tamang works with the Nepali office, where he says the situation is a challenge. “[The] political situation in our country is very uncertain and fluid. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

The squabble over control runs between the Monarchists, Maoists and the parliamentary forces. “These three groups of people–there’s tension between all these things. The church is not able to do many things that we would like to do.”

Over the past ten years, Maoist forces have intentionally targeted civilians who have resisted Maoist demands. Often, those civilians are believers who have been caught in the crossfire.

Tamang says the church is strong, but urges prayer . “None of the groups have really hampered our work. The church continues to grow. But there are areas where we face difficulties, for example, sometimes we can’t register the church, because Christians are still not a recognized minority. Sometimes when we want to have a team of people go to a certain village, we can’t go because of mistaken identities.”

Tamang says IN Network Nepal has been one of the organizations in making growth possible. It is said that before 1950 there was not a single Nepali Christian in Nepal; at the end of 1989 the church had grown to around 60,000 people and today it is estimated that there are between 350,000 and 700,000.

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