Voice of the Martyrs, 5 January 2023
Bimala Thokar came to faith in Christ in 2021 through the witness of her daughter. The Buddhist people of their Nepalese village disapproved of Bimala and her family becoming Christians and sharing the gospel with others. Local Buddhist monks called the police to accuse Bimala of “evil practices” and illegally spreading the Christian religion.
At the police station, Bimala answered the charges by explaining her Christian faith. The police officer in charge identified himself as Christian and encouraged Bimala in her faith. No charges were filed. Instead, villagers who had previously shunned Bimala and verbally abused her slowly began to accept her and ask her to pray with them. Bimala remains strong in her faith and desires that a fellowship of Christians would be started in her village.
The government of Nepal is taking an increasingly strong stand against religious conversion. Despite the 2015 constitution that guaranteed religious freedom, Parliament passed a bill in 2017 criminalizing conversion to Christianity. Christian communities are small, but they boldly witness for Christ despite harassment and risk.
Families, communities, Marxist groups and Hindu groups pressure Christians, who also experience some government interference. Muslims and Buddhists also persecute Christians, especially in response to evangelism and conversions in rural areas.