On Thursday, the leader of Nepal’s communist party was named the Himalayan nation’s new Prime Minister, a day after the results of parliamentary elections were finalized. KP Sharma Oli took the oath of office and will be leading a coalition government made up of his Communist Party of Nepal. The poll results were made official leading the current Prime Minister to resign after only eight months in office.
Oli’s biggest challenge as Prime Minister will be balancing Nepal’s relationship with its giant neighbors: India and China. This in addition to managing lingering internal strife, stemming from the country’s new constitution and transition from a monarchy. The 2015 charter divided nations into seven provinces that are now governed as a federal republic. The monarchy was formally abolished in 2008.
Nepal deputed this year as Open Doors watch list of nations where Christians face the most persecution for their faith. It also landed as high as the number 25 spot. Why? Although the government presents Nepal as a secular country, it’s practically run my Hindu forces. Pastor Bharat Giri is a full-time Christian minister of 24 years in Nepal. He is now the chairman of a political party seeking to inspire and encourage Christians to stand up for their rights. Giri says “we’re dominated by India, they’re promoting only the Hindu people. The minority Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists in the country are often left behind. One of the major factors behind Nepal’s deteriorating religious freedom rights has been legislation signed into law October 2017. The law discriminates religious conversion, it is heavily used to punish those who decide they want to become Christians.
Open Doors – World Watch List
Every year Open Doors publishes the World Watch List, to focus the world’s attention on those 50 countries where Christians are persecuted the most. Ranked 25, Nepal. Neighboring India is gaining more and more influence. Christians face increasing pressure and violence from extremist Hindus, government officials, Hindu monks, and Hindu nationalist parties. The immediate surroundings of family, friends, and neighbors also contribute to the persecution of Christians of Hindu origin.
Behind the figures of the World Watch List, there are many stories of Christians who were forced to go into hiding. Open Doors gives a voice to persecuted Christians and calls for prayer and support.
Christians are not safe in Nepal
Christians are thrown in jail for just talking about their faith, and family and friends can sometimes be included. The whole justice system and the judges are Hindu. Other religious minorities have also been affected. Buddhists who eat cow meat, have been jailed for killing an ox, which offends Hindus sensitivity that deems cows to be sacred.
Today there are about 1.5-2 million followers of Christ in the country. The problem is that for a variety of reasons, mostly the fear of being beaten or sent to prison; Christians are failing to stand up for their rights and respond to the intensity of the persecution.