The Magar People of Nepal

Perhaps best known as the world's only Hindu kingdom, the small, mountainous country of Nepal is home to approximately 400 ethnic groups. The Magar tribe represents 7 percent of the country's total population, and is one of the oldest tribes in Nepal.

The Magars are traditionally known as craftsmen, including miners, blacksmiths and basket weavers. Today, many members of the Magar community are employed as professionals in urban Nepal, and are prominently represented in the military. Magars practice a form of Hinduism that combines animistic and Buddhist rituals.

The government fiercely opposes any form of evangelism, and those Christians who are sharing Christ in Nepal do so at the risk of imprisonment.

One native Nepalese ministry supported by Christian Aid has taken this risk and focused their efforts on reaching the Magars with the gospel. Their first contact with the tribe was made in 2000, when they led one Magar family to Christ. This family created a bridge into the community, and helped the ministry learn how to meet specific needs in Magar villages.

In addition to the government's stringent prohibition on evangelism, the ministry faces the threat of the Nepalese People's War, a Maoist insurrection launched in 1996 to topple Nepal's constitutional monarchy and install a communist republic.

Despite the obstacles, this ministry continues to boldly proclaim the name of Christ in Nepal. Portions of the Bible are now being translated into the Magar language. The ministry is praying for the means to provide more Magar villagers with vocational projects as an open door to share the gospel.