CHAMBERSBURG, Pa.—Christians in Nepal face many challenges American believers may never experience: being shunned by families, excommunicated from communities or even criminally charged because of their faith in Christ.
Regardless of the dangers of being a Christian in Nepal, many are encouraged by the hope that Gospel programming from The Tide® (www.thetide.org) global radio ministry brings.
Since 2004, The Tide ministry has broadcast programming in Nepal. In 2013, the ministry began offering additional programming in the Tharu language to enable the Gospel to reach potentially millions more.
“Hindu influence in Nepal is extremely strong, and new Christians may have little support when it comes to asking questions about the Bible and the way to salvation,” said The Tide Director Don Shenk. “In fact, they may have no one to turn to at all, which is why it is so important that The Tide gospel programs reach even more people—both in Nepal and worldwide.”
At one time, Shenk added, Nepal was the world’s only official Hindu kingdom. Nepal identifies as a secular nation, and although the politics have changed, the people of Nepal remain deeply religious, with about 86% who are followers of Hinduism.
“Despite this,” Shenk said, “many people of Nepal are failing to find hope and fulfillment in life and are spiritually hungry.”
More than 15 years ago, The Tide ministry began producing and airing a weekly program in the Nepali language. Called “Prasasta Jivan,” which means “Abundant Life,” the program has the potential to reach over 19 million Nepali-speaking people with the message that Jesus came to give them abundant life. Then in 2013, The Tide ministry added programming in the Tharu language to help make disciples and plant churches among the Tharu people of Nepal. Most of this tribal people group practices an ethnic religion influenced by Hindusim, and less than 0.5% of Tharu people are Christian.
Bali, a listener to The Tide program called “Anmol Zindagi,” said the broadcast was the first time he had ever heard the Word of God.
“By listening to this radio program, the Lord has helped me to choose the right path in our day-to-day life and take the right decision,” Bali said. “Now I and my family members are immensely blessed through this program. I want to thank the person who has taken the initiative to start this radio program, which is being broadcasted once a week. I also want this program (to) continue so that other people will have the opportunity to listen to this program and their lives will be transformed by the Word of God (and) they would also come to the saving knowledge of Christ and accept the Lord as their personal savior.”
Shyam was also introduced to the Gospel through the weekly Tharu language program.
“This program has completely transformed my life and also my family,” Shyam said. “(I) also expect that this radio program will continue for a long time and will touch the lives of many people and bring them to the saving knowledge of Christ. Therefore, I and my family members are also interested to know more about the gospel of Christ, and we do not want to miss out this program.”
Dilip, another listener in Nepal, said he was thankful to “hear the Word of God in my own language.”
“I also felt that after a long period of time, the Lord has given us the opportunity to listen to the Word of God in our own mother tongue, through which I have been blessed,” Dilip said. “I also hope that in the coming days, this program would continue for a long period of time and would transform the lives of the people.”
The Tide ministry currently offers audio programming in 25 heart languages spoken by millions of people in multiple regions of Albania, Bhutan, India, Kosovo, Nepal, Nigeria, Thailand and Zimbabwe, making it possible for multiple people groups to hear the Gospel in the languages they were born to speak.
For more information about The Tide broadcast projects, history, radio programs around the world, special yearlong campaigns, the weekly Global Update radio features or other news, visit its website at www.thetide.org or its Facebook page. Read more about The Tide ministry and Director Don Shenk here.
To schedule interviews with Don Shenk, director of The Tide global radio ministry, contact[email protected], Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or ext. 102.