Despite the hardships faced by Nepali believers through the years, Christ is building His Church in Nepal.

A new era is dawning in Nepal. On May 28, a country that was a monarchy and the world’s only official Hindu nation for more than 200 years became a democratic republic.

In a historic meeting of the newly-elected Constituent Assembly, an overwhelming majority voted to end the monarchy and declare Nepal a democratic nation. The king stepped down peacefully on June 11.

Rallies and celebrations broke out across Nepal as people welcomed the news.

Based on their majority win of seats in the Constituent Assembly earlier this year, the Communist Maoists will play the biggest role in the formation of this new government.

Despite the Maoists’ recent history as a rebel insurgency group known for its violent tactics throughout Nepal, many are now seeing them as catalysts for needed change in Nepal.

Through the years, Christians in Nepal have paid a heavy price—threats, beatings, ridicule and even imprisonment—for choosing to love and follow Jesus. Now much of Nepal—Christians included—is hopeful at the news of this new government.

During recent months, a Maoist leader initiated a meeting with Nepal’s major Christian leaders, expressing that the Maoists would guarantee religious freedom in Nepal and vowing not to harm Christians. The Maoists have also made verbal promises to work toward peace in the nation.

There is a certain expectancy that Christians will enjoy more freedom—and, with it, more opportunities to share the Gospel of hope. Gospel for Asia’s Nepal regional leader, Narayan Sharma, clearly recognizes this.

The Lord had His eyes on Nepal from the beginning of the formation of this nation and people,” Narayan says. “We see how God is fulfilling His promise, ‘I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ A nation which was hostile to the Gospel had to change its Constitution and laws to accept Nepali Christians as their fellow citizens with respect. We believe that Nepal will change continuously from past history to new reality … from darkness to the light of the Gospel. It is true, what was sowed in tears is now being reaped with joy!”

The first order of business for the new governing assembly is to draft a new constitution.

Narayan requests earnest and faithful prayer for his nation during this critical time as a new government and constitution are formed simultaneously—and for the believers in this country that they can continue to “spread the influence and fragrance of the Gospel in this beautiful nation.”

Read more about Nepal, home to the world’s highest mountain.

Read the inspiring story of Suraj Majar, a GFA missionary who climbed a mountain for three hours each morning to see a thriving church planted in Nepal.