The long-running conflict between the government of Nepal and Maoist insurgents took a new turn on Saturday evening, January 14, 2006, when the guerillas attacked police posts on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city.
Benjamin Chan, who oversees the work of International Ministries in Nepal, received communication on Sunday the 15th from Bucky and Carole Sydnor, IM personnel in Kathmandu. While the new attacks are a cause for concern, the Sydnors do not believe that they are in any immediate danger. Chan explained that IM staff will be working closely with the Sydnors and their ministry partners in Nepal to monitor the situation. IM partners with the Nepal Baptist Church Council and with Human Development and Community Services.
The Maoists have been fighting government forces in the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal since February of 1996. In the past, the conflict has been centered in rural areas, away from the Kathmandu valley. On January 2 of this year, the guerrillas announced the end of the unilateral ceasefire they had declared on September 1, 2005, citing failure of government forces to respect the ceasefire. The new outbreak of violence comes as King Gyanendra’s government is preparing to hold elections in February.
Chan has called for prayer for the people of Nepal, for IM’s ministry partners, the Sydnors and others who are dedicated to embodying the love of God in this Hindu kingdom.
IM is a Baptist mission agency, established in 1814, which serves the more than 5,800 churches of the American Baptist Churches USA.
Globally, IM relates to more than 500 educational institutions and 125 hospitals and medical facilities. Missionaries work in partnership with some 15,000 trained national workers, who serve about 22,000 congregations and nearly 3,000,000 baptized members.