Nepal’s unrest poses obstacles for a ministry.

By April 21, 2006

Nepal (MNN)–The international community is urging Nepal’s king to restore democracy and peace.

Security forces opened fire as at least 100,000 people defied a curfew to protest against the absolute rule of King Gyanendra. The king took direct rule two months ago, citing the Maoist insurrection as the reason.

The rebels vow not to give up their fight until they are in power. But, Interserve’s Doug VanBronkhorst says their concern stems not from what the Maoists are against, so much as what they support.

Very little is known about their intent should they gain the upperhand, which means the Maoists present a dangerous scenario. Vanbronkhorst explains that, “They have announced a desire to get rid of all foreign influence in the country. That, of course, would apply to Non-Government workers (NGOs), and aid workers, and Christians from outside the country.”

Their attitude is not surprising. Vanbronkhorst goes on to say that, “The Maoists are not friends of religion, in general, Christianity, in particular, so I don’t think this is necessarily good for the church. But at this point, Christians have not been specifically targeted.”

Naturally, ministry in this time can be a challenge, so Vanbronkhorst urges prayer. “There are roads that are blocked, and so they’re very much more careful about where they go and when they go there, and feel much more restricted to their local area, so that’s difficult.”

While contingency plans are in place in case of an emergency evacuation, Vanbrokhorst says, “They’re committed to being there. They have jobs to do, meaningful things to do in the country and feel like the church needs their support.”

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