Evangelist Kidnapped in Nepal

Thursday, April 6, 2006

By Roxanne Anderson, Build International Ministries
Special to ASSIST News Service

KATHMANDU, NEPAL (ANS) -- Nepali evangelist Kumar was making plans to travel from his village to the capital city of Kathmandu for a worship conference in early March, when three Mao insurgents paid him a visit. They approached Kumar, and demanded a 5000 rupee “donation,” (about seventy US dollars) to support their cause. When Kumar couldn’t pay, they kidnapped him.

First the rebels forced Kumar to go with them one of their indoctrination meetings. In a secret location surrounded by over sixty armed men, Kumar listened as they shouted slogans and promoted their cause of fighting for democracy in Nepal. They told Kumar that he should stop following the foreign religion of Christianity and join them. They also said whatever money he was getting to do Gospel work, he must give to them instead. Although he was afraid, Kumar insisted he must continue doing the work of the Gospel.

Hearing this, the rebels took Kumar and forced him to work as their porter, carrying weapons. For fifteen days against his will, Kumar followed the Maoists on their military missions, carrying rifles and pressure cooker bombs. He had little to eat, and had to watch helplessly while the Mao threatened other villagers like himself to get food and money to support their army.

Nepali believers meeting in Kumar's house for prayer

Eventually, Kumar was able to borrow money to give to the Maoists so they would let him go. He was released on March 15th. Kumar returned to his wife and five young children and waited several days before again attempting to come to Kathmandu. This time he was successful.

Kumar’s experience is not an unusual one. In the past ten years of the ongoing Nepalese civil war, the Maoist guerrilla-based insurgency who say they are fighting for a democratic new Nepal have often used force and scare tactics to elicit support. People in isolated villages have little recourse. Meanwhile the already poor economy becomes worse as the political instability grows. Tourism, once one of the country’s largest sources of income, has dropped drastically as the violence in Nepal has increased.

And for gospel workers like Kumar, pressure comes from both the Mao rebels, and the Royal Nepal Army police who are loyal to the king. Any kind of gathering is looked upon with suspicion by the police, ever on the look-out for guerrillas. And the Mao rebels see every able-bodied man as a potential recruit or supporter of their cause. Christians are often caught in the middle.

In spite of these difficult conditions, last year Kumar shared the gospel with over 1000 people personally, and led 209 people to the Lord. He continues to meet in his home with a hand full of believers who live close by.

This is Kumar’s request as he prepared to return to his village, currently still occupied by the Mao: “Please pray for me that God will open doors and more people will be saved. Please pray for our needs to be met, as we are often hungry. Please pray for us and our country, as it gives us encouragement to move forward in Christ.”

Because of Kumar and others like him, the light of Jesus Christ shines brightly in Nepal, in the midst of instability, opposition and terrorism. Please pray for these believers.

If you would like to make a donation to help support Kumar in his gospel work, you may make a donation through: Build International Ministries, PO Box 540909, Grand Prairie, TX, 75054. Please mark your gift “Kumar,” and 100% will be donated to him personally.

Note: Build International Ministries is a Christian mission organization dedicated to evangelism, church planting, and training local leaders in indigenous churches.