Nepal’s rebels threaten violence; the church remains steady.

By November 4, 2003

Nepal (MNN)–The U.S. State Department is urging Americans in Nepal to practice more caution and maintain a low profile.

The alert comes after recent threats were made by communist rebels against U.S.-linked organizations. An Embassy notice warned of possible attacks, despite assurances from the top rebel leader that his forces would not attack any Americans, unless they were connected to Nepal’s military.

Maoist rebels are angry that the American government supported the Nepalese government millions of dollars in military and development aid.

The Maoist rebels want to topple the country’s constitutional monarchy and establish a communist state. Fighting has escalated again since the rebels pulled out of a cease-fire in August.

The rebel leader Prachanda, said Americans are safe in Nepal, as long as they are not part of any military operation.

For agencies like IN-Network, their teams are nationals, so their work is safer for now. However, in many areas, Christianity is seen as a western religion, therefore, American.

INN’s Rody Rodeheaver goes on to explain they’re more concerned about the rise in persecution. “The reports that I get from our people are that there is more persecution on the part of the Maoists against the church, meaning that they’re not allowing some of our house churches to function and our evangelists are not able to go out and minister and share the Gospel.”

Rodeheaver says tough times call for new strategies. “The interesting thing is that when God is involved and God is working, as He is here, there are ways that the Christians are able to continue to minister and a lot of those ways are by becoming involved in community development things.”

He urges people to prayerfully remember the growing church in Nepal.

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