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07/20/2022 Nepal (International Christian Concern) – Recently, on July 4, Christian Journalist Fellowship Nepal (CJF-Nepal) honored Dinesh Shresthra, who is the Christian editor of a bimonthly magazine in Nepal and has worked in journalism for over 15 years. CJF-Nepal recognized Dinesh with a cash prize and with its Padre Ganga Prasad Pradhan Journalism Award, granted to commemorate the efforts of journalists who shine a light on marginalized, oppressed, and neglected groups and who make significant contributions to the Christian community.

The award is named after Ganga Prasad Pradhan and was granted on his 171st Birth Anniversary. This Nepali Christian pioneer was educated by Scottish missionaries in Darjeeling and went on to become the first ordained Nepali Christian pastor. He was also a writer, authoring children’s books and other works, and the first major Christian journalist in Nepal, serving as the editor of the monthly magazine Gorkhey Khabar Kagat. Further cementing his legacy in the Christian Nepali community, he worked as the main translator of the Nepali Bible.

Christians like Dinesh Shresthra continue to carry on the legacy of Ganga Prasad Pradhan, building the Church community in Nepal through journalism and many other avenues. They continue this work despite the persecution that they face in their own country, persecution that has grown more severe in recent years. In 2018, Nepal amended its Penal Code, banning proselytization and conversion to religions other than Hinduism. Under these new laws, at least 13 Christians, including two Korean Catholic nuns, have been fighting conversion charges in the courts. In January of this year, a group of international and Nepalese Christian organizations submitted a stakeholder’s report to the UN Human Rights Committee, overviewing the situation. The report stated, “Faith-based organizations which are actively engaged in Nepal are reporting mounting challenges and infringements to their right to freedom of religion or belief.” We pray that Christians like Dinesh Shresthra, carrying on the legacy of Ganga Prasad Pradhan, would continue to persevere in the face of persecution.

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