New Anti-Conversion Law Makes Sharing Faith Difficult for Christians in Nepal

It is now harder for Christians in Nepal to share their faith and help others to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ. In August, a law criminalizing religious conversions and the “hurting of religious feelings” went into effect in Nepal, a year after the bill was passed, reported The Christian Post. And Nepal’s Christian minority fears the new law will be abused by those seeking to settle scores—as has happened frequently in neighboring India.

The Tide® has been broadcasting gospel radio programming in Nepal since 2004, beginning with a weekly program reaching a potential of 19 million people who speak the Nepali language called “Prasasta Jivan” which means “Abundant Life” in English. Then in 2013, The Tide ministry began offering a program in the Tharu language to help make disciples and plant churches among this people group.

“This new anti-conversion law in Nepal will certainly pose a great difficulty for Christians there,” said Director Don Shenk. “At one time, Nepal was the world’s only official Hindu kingdom. Today, Nepal identifies as a secular nation. Although the politics have changed, the people of Nepal remain deeply religious. Despite this, many people of Nepal are failing to find hope and fulfillment in life, and are spiritually hungry.”

After Nepal’s anti-conversion bill was passed, Nepali MP Lokmani Dhakal asked for the removal of the sections criminalizing conversions, The Christian Post further reported. Hindus account for over 80 percent of Nepals 26 million people. According to the 2011 census, just 364,000 are Christians. Some believe, however, that there could be significantly more, but new Christians are afraid to state their religion, especially in light of this new law. Shenk added that, in Nepal, a person’s religion is first stated on their birth certificate by their parents. There is the possibility that a resident could apply to have that religion changed—for instance, from Hindu to Christian—but that action would draw attention to the conversion, possibly placing a target on the believer in Christ.

Later this month, The Tide ministry will host three free informational and promotional banquets that will feature dinner, music, testimonials and reports from various countries, including Nepal:

  • September 13: 6-8 p.m. at Antrim Brethren in Christ Church, 24 Kauffman Road East, Chambersburg, PA 17202 | Register
  • September 20: 6-8 p.m. at Manheim Brethren in Christ Church, 54 North Penryn Road, Manheim, PA 17545 | Register
  • September 27: 6-8 p.m. Mechanicsburg Brethren in Christ Church, 1050 S. York St., Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 | Register

The dinners are free and a time of giving will be offered. Learn more about events from The Tide ministry here.