OVERVIEW: According to Christian leaders in the country, the government of Nepal is taking a stronger stand against religious conversion. Despite the 2015 constitution guaranteeing religious freedom, Parliament passed a bill in 2017 criminalizing conversion to Christianity. In 2018, the prime minister and other government officials publicly said anyone found changing their religion will be expelled from the country. In addition, any charity organizations engaged in preaching will be shut down. Christian communities are small but outspoken.
MAJOR RELIGIONS: Nepalis are divided between Hinduism, Buddhism and animism.
PERSECUTOR: Families, communities, Marxist groups and Hindu groups pressure Christian converts, and Christians also experience some government interference.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN IN NEPAL: There is a small, visible Christian community in Nepal, but they are now being pressured by a movement to create a pure Hindu nation. Marxist groups, another significant force within Nepal, also persecute Christians. Christians face harassment and beatings from local Hindus. Four Christians were arrested and convicted of witchcraft after praying for a mentally ill woman in 2016. However, their convictions and five-year prison sentences were later overturned, and they were released.
ACCESS TO BIBLES: Bibles are legal, though many people cannot afford them. Geographic isolation has limited Christian work in rural, mountainous areas.
VOM WORK: VOM distributes Bibles, trains pastors, and provides Christian literature and tools for evangelism.