Nepalis Christian Population on the Rise

The number of Nepalis converting to Christianity is at an all-time high, claimed the World Christian Database. From zero Christian in 1951, there are now more than 375,000 Christians in the Asian country.

“Nepal has become the country where Christianity is growing at the fastest pace of any nation in the world,” said Pudaite.

John Pudaite, President of Bibles For The World, revealed that politics is the main reason why many Nepalis decided to turn to Christianity. After many years of restrictive monarchy, Nepal became a democracy in 2008. Citizens then learned that they have the freedom to choose which religion to believe.

“Nepal has become the country where Christianity is growing at the fastest pace of any nation in the world,” said Pudaite.

Another reason for the growing number of Christians in Nepal is caste discrimination. Despite the abolition of the caste system in 2011, the landlocked country remains predominantly Hindu where people are divided into hereditary classes. Most of the new Christians belong to the lower castes where members are continuously discriminated and abused in society.

“After the earthquakes, Christian missions in Chepang areas became more and more active and the number of churches is dramatically increasing,” explained Diana Riboli, an Italian anthropologist. She added that missionaries teach indigenous groups about the healing aspect of Christianity which appeal to disadvantaged communities.

According to the Federation of National Christian Nepal, 65% of Christians belong to the lowest Hindu caste, the Dalits. People from the rural areas who survived an unknown disease or received remedy for a health problem are more likely to convert to Christianity.

Critics, however, said money and not belief is the reason why many underprivileged Nepalis embrace Christianity. They argued that well-funded missionaries are present in every conversion story.

“After the earthquakes, Christian missions in Chepang areas became more and more active and the number of churches is dramatically increasing,” explained Diana Riboli, an Italian anthropologist. She added that missionaries teach indigenous groups about the healing aspect of Christianity which appeal to disadvantaged communities.

Non-Christian religious leaders asserted that greed is the reason why Nepalis converted to Christianity. They claimed that many of the new Christians received Bibles, rice, clothes, blankets, money to build churches, and even pastors received motorbikes. Detractors blamed foreign organizations which provide humanitarian aid for changing Nepal’s culture and rituals.

Sources:
World Religion News
Mission Network News
The Guardian

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