(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

np released believers 2017
Some of the believers recently released.
Photo: Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Eight Nepali Christians were acquitted of "proselytizing" charges on December 6th, bringing a close to their ordeal. The believers had been arrested in June of 2015 as part of a crackdown on Christian activities in the fledgling democracy. The believers were reportedly mistreated in jail prior to their release on bail.

Back on June 9th, police arrested a pastor, two school principals and five school staff members for distributing children's books about Jesus at a Christian school. The books were used as part of a counselling program for children who were traumatized due to the country's two earthquakes which had taken place on April 25th and May 12th of that same year.

"Teach Nepal," a Kathmandu-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), organized the trauma counselling sessions. During the sessions, each of the traumatized children received a small gift pack which included the 23-page Christian children's book. Under Nepal's new constitution, evangelism is a crime.

While evangelizing has long been illegal in Nepal, advocacy groups have recently detected increased enforcement and other anti-Christian efforts as officials seek to placate militant Hindus who are incensed that the new constitution did not re-establish a more prominent place for Hinduism.

Yet the news of the recent acquittal has been received with much thanksgiving and praise among the Christians involved in this case, and the many intercessors who have been praying for them. "Praise the Lord!" a VOM contact gratefully expresses. "We are thankful to all who continuously prayed and helped in many different ways."