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Christianity in South and Central Asia$
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Kenneth R. Ross, Daniel Jeyaraj, and Todd M. Johnson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474439824

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439824.001.0001

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(p.168) Nepal
Christianity in South and Central Asia

Bal Krishna Sharma

Edinburgh University Press

Nepal is a country of over 28 million people, a multi-ethnic nation of more than 125 languages and a great variety of cultures. Hinduism is the major religion. Buddhism and animism also have a strong presence. Islam and Christianity are minority faiths, the latter of which is a growing religion but it is still not fully recognised by the government and suffers persecution. Christianity arrived in Nepal in 1662, when Italian Capuchin priests passed through Nepal en route to Tibet. During the 1970s churches started to grow in various parts of the country, though Christians were not allowed to preach and conversion to Christianity was prohibited. Today, there is estimated to be about 6,000 congregations, with the number rapidly increasing. Evangelism and church planting have been the heart of Nepalese Christianity, as pioneers of evangelistic and church-planting activities have made a great contribution to the growth of the church in Nepal from the 1950s. Community churches, where people gather for worship within their own local areas, are becoming more popular than denominational churches. The churches, both through their own programmes and in cooperation with other theological institutions, have developed formal theological education to equip their leaders and members.

Keywords:   Nepal, Tibet, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Persecution, Evangelism

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