Friday, April 21, 2006

Pray for Nepal

I don't know how many people out there pay attention to international affairs unless they have an interest in the area. Well, a benefit of the internet is that the plight of certain people can be highlighted fairly easily.

I would encourage anyone who comes across this post to pray for Nepal. It is a poor, landlocked country wedged between India and China. It is the home of the Himalayas and Mt. Everest. It is a land of wonderous beauty. And it is a land of intense darkness.

Nepal has been having worsening political difficulties for the last few years. In 1990, the king gave in to popular protests and instituted a constitutional monarchy. In 2001, his son, the crown prince, killed several members of the royal family in a drunken rage and turned the gun on himself. Since then the king's brother, Gyanendra, has assumed the throne.

The country has been dealing with a Maoist insurgency over the last few years. Last February the king took control of the country, returning it to a Hindu absolute monarchy, under the presumption that he could deal with the worsening crisis.

At first the people supported the king, hoping for a resolution to the stalemate. However, the situation has become more desperate. The last 16 days has seen continuous protests despite curfews. People have been killed by security forces in demonstrations.

To any of my Christian readers out there, please pray for the situation. Today Gyanendra announced he would restore democracy, but the opposition is still not satisfied with the specifics. It is an amazing turn-around, but the next few days will be telling. It seems no accident to me that the Global Days of Prayer for Nepal were held on April 8-9. I have missionary friends on the ground that are seeing people recognize that they need more than what the government can provide. Those of us in the West can have an impact in this situation by getting on our knees and lifting up the country of Nepal: that peace will reign, that the bloodshed will end, that justice will be done, and that the physical and spiritual needs of the country can fully be addressed.

Check back here for updates on the situation as I hear more. Thank you!!!

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