Christianity in Nepal: Documentation from the Day Missions Collection
February 1 – July 31 Yale Divinity Library, 409 Prospect Street
A new exhibition at the Yale Divinity Library features materials from the archives of the United Mission to Nepal, the International Nepal Fellowship, and the Nepal Church History Project. These collections, received by the Divinity Library in 2008, document the opening of Nepal to Christianorganizations in the early 1950s, their programs in the areas of health services, education, rural development, and industrial development, and thedevelopment of the Nepali church. Until the early 1950s Nepal was a closed country where foreigners and Christian missionaries were not permitted. Until 1990, changing religion was illegal by government policy and the law authorized severe penalties for attempting toconvert another person.
The United Mission to Nepal (UMN) was formed in response to an unexpected invitation from the government of Nepal to establish a hospital in the chief western town of Tansen and to begin clinics in the Kathmandu Valley. Eight mission agencies working in India came together to form the United Mission to Nepal as an international, interdenominational mission on March 5, 1954. The International Nepal Fellowship (INF) developed from the Nepal Evangelistic Band, which was established in 1936. As Nepal began to open its borders, medical personnel trekked to Pokhara in November 1952, establishing a general hospital, the Shining Hospital, in April 1953.
The archives of the UMN and INF at the Yale Divinity Library document the groups’ efforts to spread the Christian message via health and education services, rural development, and industrial development. The Nepal Church History Project was an initiative begun in 1985 by local church leaders in Nepal to research and collect materials relevant to the history of Christianity among the Nepali peoples. It archives include Christian literature, photographs, and other documentation of Christianity in Nepal.
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