Bim is a Nepali Christian who works for a nonprofit in Kathmandu. We went to the village with his organization, so we became friends with him when he served as our village host. Bim has a big smile, and an even bigger heart. He serves with humility, and loves with gentleness and grace. Bim is one of the many inspiring Nepali Christians met throughout our trip.
Although Christians make up a minuscule portion of Nepal’s population, Nepal has one of the fastest growing churches in the world! While I firmly believe that God is at work in every nation, He is doing something special in Nepal right now. Within the past ten years, the church in Nepal has been able to come out from being underground, and the Gospel is spreading like wildfire! It was incredible to be able to witness such rapid growth of the Kingdom of God!
The current religious atmosphere in Nepal is live and let live. Christians are generally tolerated. This atmosphere, however, is at risk of being changed. The Nepali government is in the process of writing a constitution, and the newest draft proposes making religious conversion illegal in Nepal. As a petition on change.org states “The current draft of Nepal’s new constitution criminalizes “any act to convert a person from one religion to another.” Since no one can really change their religion without the guidance of others within that religion, this clause nullifies the freedom to share, change, and choose one’s religion. This would criminalize acts like baptizing or sharing one’s faith, and would be a violation of the UN’s Declaration on Human Rights.” (https://www.change.org/p/the-government-of-nepal-guarantee-the-right-to-discuss-choose-and-practice-one-s-religion-of-choice-in-the-new-constitution)
If I’m being honest, this proposed constitution terrifies me! It would completely change what every organization we worked with is allowed to do, and would deeply impact the lives of my Nepali Christian friends. Will you join me in praying for Nepal as a nation? Pray that the government officials would realize that religious freedom is immensely important, and should not be compromised.
During this time of uncertainty, I’m holding onto Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” In Nepal, the common greeting is “Namaste,” which is a Hindu word that roughly translates to “I honor the spirit in you that is also in me.” The Christians of Nepal, however, have decided to use a different greeting when meeting each other. Instead of saying “Namaste” Christians greet each other with “Jaimashi” which means “Victory in Christ!” During my time in Nepal, I saw Christ win many victories, and I have to continue to trust that God will use this new proposed constitution for His glory!