Christianity in Nepal
|Christianity by country|
Protestant Christians initially came to Nepal primarily through the Nepalese who were living outside of Nepal during and prior to the Rana Regime. After the collapse of Ranas rule in Nepal in 1950, Nepali Christians living in India came in, along with some western missionaries. United Mission to Nepal, International Nepal Fellowship and others are a few earliest western mission agencies that came in and brought Christianity. According to the government data, Christian followers in Nepal accounts for about 1.4% of the population.
Scottish missionaries in Serampore and Darjeeling worked on Bible translations into Nepali, which were completed by Ganga Prasad Pradhan in 1932. Missionaries began to enter Nepal in the early 1950s, but engaged in development work, education and social service such as health care. Nepal was an officially Hindu state, and while conversion was never banned, proseletyzing with the aim of converting was illegal and the Christian organizations who entered Nepal, including the Catholic church and the ecumenical United Mission to Nepal, followed a philosophy of witnessing by example rather than evangelizing. Some of the schools and hospitals founded by these groups, such as St. Xavier's school, Patan Hospital and Tansen Hospital, became highly regarded for their quality. Missionary activities with the intent to convert Nepalis to Christianity increased with the advent of democracy and, in particular, after Nepal was named a secular state in 2008. Christmas is now an official government holiday and the "door is widely open for evangelism."
By 2011, the small but growing community of Christians had emerged as a political pressure group, demanding that the government grant them land for cemeteries. After a decade of extensive missionary action, the 2011 census found Christians at 1.45 percent of Nepal's population, almost triple the number in 2001. The targeting of indigenous ethnic groups and low-income people with extensive proseletyzing efforts, for instance as "unreached people," has been culturally controversial.
State of the Church in Nepal
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2011)|
Until 1990, most of the church groups in Nepal were united with few exceptions like Assembly of God and Church of Christ. But the democratic changes of 1990 brought relative freedom to practice one's faith. This freedom contributed towards a proliferation of various denominations and groups. Missionaries began to enter the open doors in the decades since 1990.
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- Religion in Nepal