Score:64/ 100Region:AsiaPersecution Type:Religious nationalismPersecution Level:Very HighPopulation:29,942,000Christians:1,279,000Main Religion:HinduismGovernment:Federal fepublicLeader:President Bidhya Devi Bhandari
Profile of Persecution
Religious nationalism and intense pressure
Most of the persecution of Christians in Nepal comes from Hindu radical groups whose goal is to return Nepal to a Hindu state. Seen as betraying their ancestors’ faith, Christian converts from Hinduism continue to live under intense pressure, including Nepal’s anti-conversion laws. Before the adoption of a new constitution in 2015 that limits freedom of religion, the government didn’t drive persecution. On August 8, 2017, the Nepalese parliament also passed anti-conversion legislation—another sign of a deteriorating situation for Christians.
How Christians are suffering
In Nepal, the situation for Christians is worsening. And the spiritual climate is becoming increasingly tension-filled. The country’s anti-conversion laws are a significant source of persecution for Christians. Anyone, including Christians, can be falsely accused of converting someone.
From time to time, Hindu radicals take advantage of the ongoing political instability by attacking Christians, mostly with impunity. In 2019, Nepal also saw attacks on church buildings, and reports surfaced of Christians being beaten, arrested and sentenced to prison. Christians also had to flee their homes and villages due to threats.
A 16-year-old Christian prayer center in the city of Gandaki Pradesh was demolished. Church leaders had secured informal permission from local officials before building the center almost 20 years ago. But with no prior notice, authorities suddenly destroyed the six small huts.
A Christian leprosy hospital near Kathmandu was invaded by a hardliner Hindu political party who accused the hospital of proselytizing and converting people to Christianity in exchange for free treatments. During the attack, they openly burned 30 Bibles.
A Christian boy from Dharan was accused of killing a cow. He and two other friends were attempting to remove the dead animal from the river side. Authorities kept the boy in custody and set his bail at the U.S. equivalent of $743.
Population and number of Christian statistics: Johnson T M and Zurlo G A, eds., World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, accessed April 2019).
Pray for Nepal
Pray for protection for new believers when members of their own family turn on them, often throwing them out of the family home. Pray for tolerance toward believers.Believers often find themselves alone in following Jesus in their family which leads them to want to worship in secret. Pray that they will find security in the fellowship of other Christians.Hindu extremists are gaining influence in the country. Pray for the protection of believers who are arrested just for sharing the gospel. Pray that lawyers will come forward to defend them and, if their cases reach the courts, that they will be dealt with justly.There is an increase of Christians being accused of proselytizing. And now any Christian who talks Christianity can be falsely accused of trying to convert someone. Pray that our brothers and sisters in Nepal “… stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13).
Nepal Photo Gallery
Stories from Nepal
January 15, 2020
In-depth research for Open Doors' 2020 World Watch List shows that at least eight Christians, largely in Sub-Saharan Africa, die at the hands of persecutors (extremists, family members and state authorities) each day. Read More
July 2, 2019
Our local ministry partners in Nepal are sharing multiple stories of worsening persecution--including several recent incidents of Christians being accused of proselytizing. Read More
March 8, 2019
Around the world, Increasing numbers of Christian women are doubly vulnerability to persecution—for both their faith and their gender. Read More