Nepal: Arrests, Cancellation, and What Followed

“Four Christians, Including U.S. Woman, Arrested from Hotel in Nepal”

This is the news we received the day before our scheduled flight to Nepal April 25th. The April 24, 2019 New Delhi Morning Star News reported that Police from Dang Deukhuri District of Nepal arrested four Christians from a hotel early Tuesday morning (April 23) on false charges of conversion by allurement, sources said.

Pastor Dilli
Included in the arrest was Pastor Dilli Ram Poudel, general secretary of the Nepal Christian Society. Dilli (as known to his friends and co-workers) is Global Training Network’s (and our Divine Expedition Training’s) point person, and the one who invited GTN to train Nepali leaders all over the country.
THE CHARGES IN “DANG” (DANG, THAT’S A REAL PLACE IN NEPAL)

Police searched the Christians’ hotel rooms and confiscated Bibles as “evidence” of carrying out fraudulent conversions. They also confiscated U.S. dollars from the American Christian woman Cinquanta’s room as evidence of “allurement to convert.”

The unfounded accusations were that Dilli preached in a place where he never actually was, that he passed out Bibles, and forcibly converted people. Cinquanta responded,

“The allegations are completely false. We were not distributing any Bibles or dollars. How is it a crime for a Christian to carry his Bible, and how is it a crime for an American to carry dollars when visiting a foreign country?”

PATTERN OF PERSECUTION

Christian leaders in Nepal expressed their shock at the detentions. Pastor Sagar Baizu, spokesperson of the Federation of National Christians in Nepal said:

“When detained, these Christians were not preaching or roaming on the streets or even distributing anything. They were detained from their hotel rooms in early morning hours. I am really disappointed, this is pure harassment. They are portraying us [Christians] as ‘bad.’”

An increase of persecution of Christians in Nepal began after militant Hindus passed a new criminal code, which took effect in August 2018, making it illegal to “proselytize.” Nepal was ranked 32nd on Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

It should be noted that the superintendent of police who led the detentions was also behind the arrests of seven men and one woman in Charikot, Dolakha District on false charges in June 2016. The eight Christians were acquitted on Dec. 6, 2016.

IMPACT ON OUR (GTN DIVINE EXPEDITION) TRAINING

Before boarding our flight to Nepal, we were informed that our Phase 1 training had been cancelled due to the fear that similar reprisals might occur during our training. Praying hard, we decided to continue with our trip, trusting God to protect and use us for His glory.

The cancellation of our Phase 1 training was a critical blow to our overall strategy, as it would set back the Nepalis chance to train along side us and develop as trainers. Dilli’s vision is that we raise up 20 Nepali Master Trainers who would reproduce the Divine Expedition all over Nepal.

ANSWERS TO PRAYER

Upon our arrival in Nepal, we made a flurry of phone calls and had an amazing answer to prayer the next morning. Ten Nepali pastors joined us for breakfast to process rescheduling a new Phase 1 and put us back on track.

The Ten

Miraculously, we began Phase 1 the next morning in a new location. Ten Nepalis we have been training presented virtually all of Phase 1 and seven Nepalis helped us present Phase 2 in the days that followed. Thereafter we were able to complete Phases 3 and 4, moving us toward our goal for Nepalis to reproduce the Divine Expedition in Nepal and across neighboring borders.

Nepali Presenters + Phil, Jane (from Brazil), and me.

Another answer to prayer is that eight days after his (their) arrest Dilli and his fellow pastors were released, pending a court case hearing in July.

There was much rejoicing on part of the Nepali Christian community (as well as us). One amazing outcome of this situation is that the entire Christian church in Nepal has been unified.

Dilli believes (as do we) that he and his fellow pastors will be exonerated, the Gospel will continue to spread, and God will be glorified.

PRAYER REQUESTS

Please keep praying for Dilli, and for God to build His church in Nepal and around the world.

Pray that the Gospel will continue to spread, and spread, and spread in Nepal, in spite of oppression and persecution.

Pray too that God will continue to guide and empower us (Global Training Network and the Divine Expedition).

Pray for those who participated in our training and for those who participate in the next round of our trainings scheduled in July.

So grateful for for the doors God has opened to us…and for your partnership with us,

Linus and Sharon for the Divine Expedition team

Phase 4 Training…I thought I heard someone say, “Waive!”

One thought on “Nepal: Arrests, Cancellation, and What Followed

  1. Historically, the growth of the Christian church thrives in the face of persecution! Thank you, Father, for answered prayer! 🙂

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