Nepal (MNN) — Nepal has been chaotic for the last few weeks. The chaos still remains, but protests are looking a little different.
Since 2007, the country has been looking to a temporary constitution that was created at the end of a civil war. Parties disagreed over the details of the constitution as to whether or not Nepal should be a Hindu or a secular nation.
The argument dragged on for years until the disastrous April 25 earthquake, which brought on the decision to establish a new, permanent constitution.
During this time frame, disagreements started building tensions.
“The religious fundamentalists didn’t want the constitution, democratic or secular nation. They want to still remain a radical Hindu nation,” says Gospel for Asia’s (GFA) K.P. Yohannan.
If the country were declared a Hindu nation, religious minorities–including Christians–would face restrictions in sharing and practicing their faith legally. There would also be strict anti-conversion laws.
Hindu activists marched through streets and clashed with police demanding the country be declared a Hindu nation. Around 40 people have died in the violence, including 11 policemen and one child, according to the Guardian News.
Voting took place in the last days, and despite activists’ violent protests, only 21 lawmakers in the 601-seat constituent assembly voted in support of making the country a Hindu nation once again.
Nepal has been declared a secular nation.
“I honestly think that this is the answer to tens of thousands of people’s prayers throughout the world,” Yohannan says. “What does it mean for God’s work? I think this is an answer to prayer, and our God is going to continue to use these people to help you understand the love of Christ.”
While Christians have been celebrating their newly-declared religious freedoms, Hindus have acted violently, bombing two churches. A bomb intended for a church exploded in a police station, injuring four.
“The church can exist there legally. But persecution and problems and some other things possibly will always be there.”
Several Bridge of Hope Centers supported by GFA have closed temporarily to keep tutors and children safe.
Be praying for safety over GFA’s partners and Christians. Also be praying for peace and that protests and violence will subside soon.