Towards a new Nepal
Christians in Nepal are interacting with community leaders about key social issues
About 2,000 Christians from almost all of Nepal’s 75 districts are holding public meetings this Sunday (25 September) to share their vision for the country’s future.
People representing over 600 churches will be discussing key issues with community leaders, including politicians, as the country continues to wait on a new constitution to be agreed, three years after Nepal became a republic.
Christians will encourage leaders to be active and accountable in seeking to address the problems that Nepal faces, and express their commitment to praying for and working towards that vision.
Meetings are also planned with Nepal's President, Dr Ram Baran Yadav, and the new Prime Minister, Baburam Bhattarai.
BMS partners, the United Mission to Nepal (UMN) and the International Nepal Fellowship (INF), are supporting national Christian networks in implementing a programme entitled ‘A Christian commitment to building a new Nepal’.
A series of workshops and training sessions have already taken place in churches around the country, with more than 200 issues identified and five prioritised as the ‘most important’:
- caste-based discrimination
- gender-based discrimination and violence against women
- lack of education
Mark Galpin, Executive Director of UMN, says, “This programme has emerged as an exciting movement of the Spirit among Christians in Nepal.
“For a minority group, and in some cases still a persecuted minority, this is a bold and visionary step of sharing God's love and desire for justice, mercy and faith with the wider Nepali society.”
Religious freedom has increased since ten years of civil war ended and Nepal was transformed from a Hindu Kingdom to a democratic republic secular nation. Christmas is now a public holiday.
Mark asks Christians from around the world to support their Nepali brothers and sisters at this exciting time for the Church there.
He says, “For many small, local churches, the idea of meeting with civic leaders or making any kind of public statement seems a bit daunting.
“There may be some political leaders who oppose the idea of the Church reaching out into society.
“Please pray that God will be at work in the churches to build them up in their mission of bearing witness to God's grace in life, word, and deed.
“Please pray that God will use these events to help transform people's views of Christians and the churches in Nepal.
“Please also pray that God will use these events in the process of making Nepal increasingly a country where justice, peace, mercy and faith can find a home.”
Photo credits: BMS; UMNBack