Christians Rise above Nepal Turmoil

Washington, D.C. (June 3, 2010)–International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the Nepali Christian population is experiencing unprecedented growth despite the political stalemate freezing the rest of the country.
Nepal has been in deadlock, recently undergoing a general strike by the Maoist party which shut down the country for six days. During this time Nepal lost electricity, water and transportation.
“We have had heavy transition in Nepal, but despite the difficult situation the church continues to thrive,” said Sandy Anderson, President of Build International Ministries. Sandy has spent the last 25 years working with the Christian population of Nepal. “In recent history, Nepal has not been politically stable at any point, but the church has emerged and grown from a handful in the 1950’s to over 100,000 members today.”
“Churches are growing by leaps and bounds everywhere. Yes, there are threats…There is persecution, torture, and intimidation. Any time you become a Christian you face immediate persecution, even from your own family members. The persecution has driven the people in the church to their knees…The position of Christians is it doesnt matter who is in power. Christians are not so much involved in politics, but they are heavily involved in praying for the people in politics.”
Nepal’s long-ruling Hindu monarchy was overthrown in 2006, ending a ten year Maoist insurgency. However, in 2009, the Maoists withdrew from the coalition government over a political dispute. After the recent Maoist strikes Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal agreed to step down in exchange for Maoists concessions. Both sides are claiming the other is failing to meet the terms of the agreement.
Christians have rallied to express their desire for both religious freedom and dialogue between opposing sides. Over 25,000 Christians gathered on the streets of Kathmandu for an unprecedented celebration of Easter Sunday. On May 23, the anniversary of the 2009 church bombing, Christians rallied to express forgiveness toward their attackers.
ICC’s Regional Manager, Logan Maurer, stated, “Nepal has undergone climactic political changes in the past few weeks, leaving many wondering what the situation will look like for religious freedom. Despite uncertainty and persecution, the Nepali church has grown and remains an example to churches worldwide.”
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