(Worthy News) - A church in Nepal was recently intimidated into shutting down due to harassment by the country's Brahmin elite.
"Shiv Sena"--a Hindu Nationalist group from India--"has been working among the Nepalese people and radicalizing them," explained Pastor Tufani Bhar of Pakhluwa Eternal Life Church in Palpa.
The Indian subcontinent has faced a rising tide of Hindu nationalism since the election of India's new president, Narendra Modi, and his Bharatiya Janata Party in 2014. While Nepal joined the UN Human Rights Council on January 1st of this year and ratified a constitution in 2016 that defined the country as a secular democratic republic, many Nepali Christians fear that the change is only skin-deep.
"This is still a Hindu nation," claims BP Khanal, General Secretary of the Janjagaran Party. "When we were trying to promote that constitution, there were so many voices...even unnecessary voices that the country should go back and remain as a Hindu nation."
Four Nepali churches were attacked by arsonists in May of this year alone. The country's criminal code, signed into law in 2017, still prohibits evangelization under the threat of up to five years of imprisonment, and "forced conversion" is now the charge leveled at outspoken Christians by Hindu zealots.
Before the spread of Hindu nationalism from India, said Pastor Bhar of his 38 years of ministry in Nepal, "there was no persecution" of Christians.
A 2017 report by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity ranked Nepal tenth in its list of the world's fastest-growing Christian movements.