Nepal’s leaders in summit over interim Constitution.

By December 13, 2006

Nepal (MNN)–Nepal’s leadership, consisting of the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) and the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN), meets today in a summit over the final details of the country’s interim constitution.

No longer the world’s only Hindu kingdom, the rebel Maoists and the government are trying to work toward both a lasting peace and a secular government.

The CPN leader urged releasing the draft now in order to make the constituent assembly election possible by mid-June. One major sticking point appears to be disarming the rebels. The government wants the United Nations to step in and manage both the arms and the armies of CPN and monitor them.

Still, this seeming impasse is worlds ahead of 11 years of civil war. Interserve’s Doug VanBronkhorst urges prayer. “It really helps to have the violence stopped, and that has produced a lot of good feeling. If there can be a genuine coalition of people who will put the country first, that would be great. There’s some optimism that that can happen, but of course, optimism mixed with some caution.”

VanBronkhorst explains their partners feel the move toward a secular state will allow the church to do a lot more outwardly. “Obviously, it being more peaceful, they don’t have to have the fear of violence at this point, and then secondly, they feel like they could be more open about sharing and expressing their faith than perhaps they would have in the past. For example, there’s a large Christian celebration planned, rather public, in some of the cities for the Christmas season.”

In fact, one partner writes, “On Saturday the 23rd, the churches of Tansen are planning on having a short church service and then gathering at a common location.” The plan after the church service includes a parade through the town, with the procession ending at the local community field ground.

Freedom allows the churches to breathe more freely. This partner adds that after the parade, they have plans to hold an open air event. “There will be a program with songs, testimonies, and dancing by members of the Churches. It should prove to be an exciting event and an opportunity to let people hear the good news. We ask for prayer for this event.”

It’s a far cry from the days when such open celebration of their faith was illegal and often subject to harsh response from both the government and the rebels.

Continue to pray for Interserve’s medical work in the region. They’ve been serving for half a century. In that time, there has been slow but steady growth of the Church. Click here if you want to help support their Nepal project.

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