Last week, the Nepal Christian Society (NCS) held its 19th general assembly in Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu. During the assembly, the NCS elected its 51-member central working committee. The new leaders of the organization have pledged to protect the Christian community of Nepal and to fight for their rights. A major ecumenical Christian forum in the country, the NCS has operated in collaboration with other Christian forums and has remained strong since its founding in 1996. The NCS has an estimated 10,000 affiliated churches, para-churches, theological institutions, and Christian development, social, and ministry organizations.
The strength of groups in Nepal like the NCS is more important than ever. Nepal has one of the world’s fastest-growing Christian communities, with the NCS estimating the Nepalese Christian population to number 1.5 million people. The vitality of Nepal’s Christian community necessitates robust organizations to represent them on the national stage—Christians only make up a small fraction of the Hindu majority population. The NCS is well-positioned to serve this purpose.
Unfortunately, just as Nepal’s Christian community has grown, the amount of Christian persecution in the country has also grown. In 2018, Nepal amended its Penal Code, banning proselytization and conversion to religions other than Hinduism. Under these new laws, at least 13 Christians, including two Korean Catholic nuns, have been fighting conversion charges in the courts. In January of this year, a group of international and Nepalese Christian organizations submitted a stakeholder’s report to the UN Human Rights Committee overviewing the situation. The report stated, “Faith based organizations which are actively engaged in Nepal are reporting mounting challenges and infringements to their right to freedom of religion or belief.” We pray for the success of Christian organizations like the NCS in their fight against persecution in Nepal.
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