Believers in Christ Still ‘Very Fearful’ in Nepal
A Nepal Listener to The Tide® Radio Ministry Says: ‘This Program Imparts Joy, Peace and Assurance of Abundant Life’
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa.—The secular nation of Nepal may have moved down on the World Watch List for Christian persecution, but that doesn’t mean believers in Christ feel any less threatened to worship and pray freely.
The Tide® (www.thetide.org) global radio ministry has been broadcasting gospel programming in Nepal since 2004 and now reaches listeners in two languages, potentially reaching millions.
For the 2019 World Watch List from Open Doors USA, Nepal moved from the No. 25 spot to No. 32. But this could be due to Christian persecution becoming so much worse in other countries, said The Tide Director Don Shenk. Persecution is still a very serious matter in the South Asian nation of Nepal.
“Believers in Nepal are still very fearful of worshipping in public, making it known that they are Christians, or even talking about Jesus with their friends and family,” Shenk said. “The Hindu influence in Nepal is extremely strong, and new Christians may have little support when it comes to asking questions about the Bible and the way to salvation. In fact, they may have no one to turn to at all, which is why it is so important that The Tide gospel programs reach even more people—both in Nepal and worldwide.”
At one time, reports The Tide ministry, Nepal was the world’s only official Hindu kingdom. Nepal identifies as a secular nation, and although the politics have changed, the people of Nepal remain deeply religious, with about 86 percent who are followers of Hinduism.
“Despite this,” Shenk added, “many people of Nepal are failing to find hope and fulfillment in life, and are spiritually hungry.”
Since 2004, The Tide ministry has been producing and airing a weekly program in the Nepali language. Called “Prasasta Jivan,” which means “Abundant Life,” the program has the potential to reach over 19 million Nepali-speaking people with the message that Jesus came to give them abundant life. Then in 2013, The Tide ministry added programming in the Tharu language to help make disciples and plant churches among the Tharu people of Nepal. Most of this tribal people group practices an ethnic religion influenced by Hindusim, and less than 0.5 percent of Tharu people are Christian.
Shanti, a radio listener of The Tide ministry in Nepal, said she is thankful for the program in her own language.
“I have been listening to your ‘Prasasta Jivan’ radio program with great enthusiasm,” Shanti said. “I am really blessed by your radio messages and share them with my friends as well. I wish for the continuity of this program which imparts joy, peace, and assurance of abundant life.”
The Tide ministry has been broadcasting Bible messages over the radio since 1946 and today operates in eight countries on three continents while sharing the gospel in 25 languages. Besides Nepal, The Tide ministry works in three other nations on this year’s World Watch List: India (No. 10), Nigeria (No. 12) and Bhutan (No. 33), along with multiple regions of Albania, Kosovo, Thailand and Zimbabwe, making it possible for multiple people groups to hear the gospel in the languages they were born to speak.
For more information about The Tide broadcast projects, history, radio programs around the world, the “Every Knee, Every Tongue” campaign, the “Have You Heard?” initiative, the weekly Global Update radio features or other news, visit its web site at www.thetide.org or its Facebook page. Read more about The Tide ministry and Don Shenk here.