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[Today’s Prayer] Nepal’s first pastor to be found guilty of ‘conversion charges’

Pastor Keshab Raj Acharya (35), who was found guilty of conversion and awaits imprisonment, said, “I am concerned that this incident will set a precedent for Nepalese authorities to imprison other Christians.”

In a recent interview with Morning Star News, Pastor Acharya said, “I am afraid that the police and judiciary will cite my case as an example of sending people to prison on charges of conversion or forced conversion without evidence.”

Pastor Acharya said, “Even if someone voluntarily commits himself to Jesus Christ, the police and courts will find the person who spread the message of Christ and his salvation guilty. Where will the police and judiciary draw the line between ‘forced conversion’ and ‘voluntary conversion’?” he asked.


He said, “The witnesses testified that I did not ask them to convert, but only gave them tracts. They read it and threw it away,” he said. “I was found guilty of something I didn’t do. I was unnecessarily targeted, harassed and imprisoned,” he claimed.


During his absence, his wife Junu Acharya plans to lead worship. “Suddenly the police might come and take my husband to jail,” she said. “When that day comes, what can I do but pray? I have to take care of and provide for not only my children but also our church,” she said.

Hanok Tamang, president of the National Churches Fellowship of Nepal (NCF Nepal), said in an interview with Morning Star News, “Hostility toward Christians is increasing. There are currently no pastors, leaders, or Christians in prison on charges of conversion, but anti-Christian sentiment and hostility are gradually increasing, so it’s difficult to predict what will happen tomorrow,” he said.

“Several pastors, families, and leaders have been imprisoned for their faith for years,” said President Tamang. “The Lord remembered their prayers, their tears, and the time they spent in prison. Also, through their unwavering faith, the Lord has glorified and blessed Nepal so that many precious souls become members of Christ every day. “I sincerely salute each and every hero of faith who stood before the judges of Nepal and testified to the great name of our Lord,” he said.

Nepali Christian leaders have pointed out that Nepal's Constitution and Criminal Law, which came into effect in 2018, violate the right of religious communities to share the tenets of their faith by excessively restricting freedom of religion or belief and criminalizing efforts to convert others.

Article 26 (1) of the Constitution of Nepal protects freedom of religion or belief and includes the right to profess, practice and protect one's religion, but Article 26 (3) states that any act which may violate the peace of the people, or convert any person from one religion to another, or any act which may endanger the religion of any other person or cause such actions, shall be punished according to the law.

Nepal's Christian community has faced several cases showing how the constitution's anti-conversion law can easily be misused. Additionally, since 2018, the number of attacks targeting religious minorities, especially Christians, has increased significantly. These include bombings and arson attacks on churches, physical attacks on Christians, false accusations of evangelism and conversion, and false propaganda against Christians.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious freedom advocacy group, said in a statement, “By criminalizing conversion, Nepal has violated the fundamental freedom of religion or belief guaranteed not only by the Constitution but also by several international treaties. These vaguely defined laws are often abused to harass minorities.” They continued, “While the Indian Constitution is very clear about protecting religious freedom, the Nepalese Constitution prohibits any attempt at religious conversion. At the same time, Nepal is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, an international treaty that explicitly protects freedom of religion and expression.”

Source: Christian Today

20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us[a] that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)

We praise Jehovah God, who raised Jesus Christ that took upon all our sins, and revealed his power, majesty, and glory.

Lord, we heard about Pastor Acharya, who preached Jesus by handing out evangelistic tracts in Nepal, has been sentenced to one year in prison and a fine of $100, and that this case may be cited as a precedent for imprisoning other Christians.

Nepal's constitution clearly states that freedom of religion and belief is protected, but the country faces the reality of frequent bombings and arson attacks on churches, Christians are criticized, and anti-Christian sentiment is growing.

We pray that the heart of God, who loves the souls of Nepal, who wants to wash away all their sins with the precious blood of Jesus on the cross, and accompany them forever, will be poured out on everyone, including high-ranking officials in Nepal.

May the God of peace rule over Nepal, break the laws of the world, and rule with the holy and perfect word of the Lord. May they become a nation filled with freedom and joy only through the Lord.

Would You remember the Christian body of Nepal, including Pastor Acharya who faced the law and was imprisoned for living a religious life. Would You use all this time according to Your good will to shine only the light of the glory of the Lord in Nepal.

Let those who live by faith know the will and vision of the Lord in these end times, so that they can fulfil the will of Christ among Nepal and all nations, and rise up as a nation that sees the final victory.


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