Nepal urges prayer for persecuted believers.

By December 8, 2004

Nepal (MNN)–The Baptist World Alliance is calling the persecution in Nepal ‘disruptive’.

Much of the current escalation in violence began in September when twelve Nepalese were killed in Iraq and Nepalese blamed the government and burned down the central offices of the government in Kathmandu. Muslim temples were also destroyed in other parts of Nepal.

BWA’s Wendy Ryan says in rebel-held Khotang, Maoists have closed down churches, and warned many church leaders to stop worshipping. Many believers have been threatened and have gone underground.

According to Ryan, “So many of these issues get turned into religious issues. It’s Muslims against Hindus and everybody against Christians, and that makes for a very, very frightening mix for our believers there.”

Churches in the Khotang area of Nepal have been warned to stop worshipping and close all churches within the month and pastors have been told they will have their hands cut off if they if they do not stop.

Khotang pastors plan to meet with the Maoist area commander to request they continue to be permitted to meet. “And then, we’ve been waiting to hear how the meeting between the Khotang pastors and the commander of the Maoists went.”

Ryan says the Nepalese church is concerned for outreach and has issued a call to prayer. “A lot of this persecution coincides with the rise in people coming to know Jesus Christ. That, of course, we know is true from the Bible and all through history. So, I would say we need to pray and especially pray for peace in Nepal.”

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