Relaymedia

BWA Urges Christians Worldwide to Pray on Behalf of Persecuted Nepal Church

( [email protected] ) Dec 18, 2004 03:33 PM EST

The Baptist World Alliance has recently release a statement urging believers to vigilantly pray for believers in Nepal. Currently in Nepal, fighting between government forces and Maoist rebels have reach a fevered pitch. Recently, there has been a wave of attacks launched against Christians of which, many believe, were incited by Maoist rebels. BWA spokeswoman Wendy Ryan reports that many political issues quickly turn to religious issues. Ryan reports, “it is Muslim It's Muslims against Hindus and everybody against Christians, and that makes for a very, very frightening mix for our believers there." In Maoist-controlled Khotang, Nepal, believers there have been forced to close down their churches. Nepalese Christians unable to go to church have met in homes for worship. However, Baptist ministers are forced to report to Maoist rebel leaders before traveling out of the house. More often, the ministers are refused communication from their own church – creating a situation where many congregations gather often without their ministers present.

Though there is much chaos in the situation, church leaders have tried to smooth relationships with the Nepalese church and Maoist commanders through talks. The real problem, Nepalese believers cite is not from Maoist forces but from the rise in banditry in the chaotic atmosphere generated by civil unrest and months of civil war. A three-day gathering in Katmandu between Nepal Baptist Church Council (NBCC) pastors was postponed to this November due to complications associated with banditry.

In spite of the persecution, Ryan cites that Christian persecution often coincides with Christian revival. She expressed hopes that believers worldwide will pray on the behalf of the Nepalese Christians. On the BWA website, a list of prayer topics were given:

- God will send peace to Nepal.

- Strength and courage will overcome fear.

- Pastors will be safe to lead their churches.

- Leaders will know God's wisdom to deal with the political situation to keep churches

open.

- NBCC leaders can hold a pastors meeting.

- Places of safety will be found if these persecutions were to continue.