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Nepal: Christians face new levels of persecution

Nepalese authorities appear to be threatened by the rapid growth of Christianity in that country According to the Orthodox Christianity website, “In 1951, Nepal’s census showed no—that would be zero—Christians in the country. Ten years later, it showed just 458. Forty years later, the number had risen to 102,000 and ten years later, i.e., in 2011, it had risen to 375,000. What’s more, according to a report by the International Institute for Religious Freedom, Nepalese Christian leaders believe that this last figure underestimates the number of Christian by a factor of six: instead of 375,000 Christians there are closer to 2.3 million.”

“Christians in Nepal face new levels of persecution,” by Heather Preston, Premier, July 4, 2019

A growing number of Christians are facing persecution in Nepal, as Hindu extremists call for the country to return to a Hindu state.

Persecution towards Christians rose considerably in the region after the Nepalese government introduced anti-conversion laws in 2017, and made the decision to limit freedom of religion.

Religious freedom charity Open Doors said it’s becoming harder for Christians in Nepal to practise their faith: “Any Christian talking about Christianity can be falsely accused of converting now, and there are several such incidents taking place.”

The charity has seen Nepal rise to number 32 on it’s World Watch List of persecuted Christians and has reported a number of recent incidents, including the demolition of a church building and an attack on a Christian run hospital….

The charity also reported that Ananda Ban Hospital, run by Christian NGO, ‘The Leprosy Mission’ was stormed by Shiv Sena Nepal (a political party in Nepal) last week.

The Hindu group intimidated members of staff and burnt Bibles, after accusing the hospital of offering free treatments to patients if they converted to Christianity.

Despite an increase in persecution, Christianity has continued to grow in Nepal, with more than 8,000 churches established and over a million converts to Christianity since the adoption of a secular democracy in 2008.

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