Why Is Christianity Thriving in Nepal?
By Jo Anne Lyon , Op-Ed Contributor
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:9
In Nepal, Hinduism reigns as the primary religion — out of Nepal’s population of 28 million, Christians make up less than 1.5 percent. Recently, the former Hindu kingdom adopted a new constitution that declared the country a secular state.
Under the new constitution, the freedom of religion is technically upheld but attempting to change or convert someone from one religion to another is punishable by law. In addition, Christianity remains socially unacceptable, often inciting violence and oppression. While you can legally choose your religion in Nepal, Nepali Christians continue to suffer inequality and persecution as they have for decades.
However, despite this constitutional ban on religious conversions, Nepal has one of the fastest-growing Christian populations in the world. While there are likely many reasons for this paradox, it raises a strong case for religious freedom.