Nepal is a land of towering mountains, breathtaking beauty, and cultural mystique. It also ranks as one of the poorest nations in the world.
This mountain-ringed country is bordered by China to the north and India to the south and boasts eight of the world’s ten highest peaks. Because the terrain is so difficult, land development has been slow, resulting in poverty and subsistence living. Almost a third of the population lives below the poverty line, and the majority are illiterate. There are many abandoned women and a huge prostitution industry.
Area: 147,181 sq km
Major language: Nepali
Major religions: Hindu 80.6%, Buddhist 10.7%, Muslim 4.2%
Life expectancy: 64.3 years (men); 66.67 years (women)
Nepal is a collage of people groups, each with its own culture, history, and traditions. While the majority of people can communicate in Nepali, at least 125 other languages are spoken as well.
Nepal is the birthplace of Buddha, more than 80% Hindu, and the home of the fastest-growing Christian church in Asia. Hinduism is currently the dominant religion in most parts of the country. When Nepal first opened to the outside world in 1951 there were only five known Christians. By 1970 the church had grown to about 500 believers, expanding to 25,000 by the early 1980s and 75,000 by 1990. No one knows for sure how many Christians are currently in Nepal because difficult terrain has isolated many areas, but we estimate that there are about one million believers.
The level of religious freedom in Nepal has fluctuated over the years. The Christian church has faced persecution and harassment from both the government and society, but has enjoyed a period of calm for the last few years.
As the church in Nepal grows, the need for trained pastors and leaders is increasing proportionally. Churches also need to grasp the importance of reaching out to their communities to meet spiritual, physical, and emotional needs. OM equips Nepali Christians with outreach and discipleship skills and sends them out to minister to their communities and around the world.
Thank You, Lord, for the beauty and mystique of Nepal's nature and culture. Thank You for the fastest-growing church in Asia in spite of geographical, social and political difficulties. We pray for Your truth to be spoken into the lives of the Nepalese, many of them subject to poverty, illiteracy and prostitution. We pray also for able Christian leaders to meet the needs of the rapidly multiplying church.
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