Last fall, Christians in Nepal suffered a blow to their religious freedom when the government enacted an anti-conversion law that criminalizes Christians for sharing their faith in Jesus. Now, many Nepali Christians have signed a petition urging the government to remove the law, according to Mission Network News. A pastor in Nepal told the news outlet that the signing of the law has brought fear in the lives of Christians.

The Tide® has been producing and broadcasting weekly Christian programming in Nepal since 2004 with the airing of “Prasasta Jivan” which means “Abundant Life” in English. The program has the potential to reach over 19 million Nepali speaking people with the message that Jesus came to give them abundant life.

“It’s concerning that more Nepali Christians are experiencing religious restrictions and even persecution,” said Director Don Shenk. “In fact, Nepal is No. 25 on this year’s World Watch List for Christian persecution, when it was not even listed in past years. For 14 years, it has been an honor to reach the people of Nepal through Gospel radio programming. Now, we pray for them all the more fervently as they face increased hardships, attacks on their freedoms and possible danger.”

The Tide first began sharing the Gospel in Nepal in the Nepali language, then in 2013, added programming in the Tharu language.

Freedom of religion in Nepal was already restricted by the 2015 constitution. The newest anti-conversion law in Nepal was passed by legislators in August, then signed by President Bidhya Dev Bhandari in October. The measure makes religious conversion punishable by up to five years in prison while “hurting religious sentiments” would be punishable up to two years in prison, The Christian Post reported. The president was urged by religious freedom activists not to sign the law.

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