Church in Nepal
  • Capital:
  • Kathmandu
  • Population:
  • 26.5 million
  • Catholic:
  • 7,200
  • Diocese:
  • 1 apostolic prefecture
  • Major religion:
  • Hinduism 83%, Buddhism 10%, Islam 4%
The history of Catholicism in Nepal begins with its inclusion in the diocese of Funchal, Portugal, and in 1533 as part of the diocese of Goa. From then on until 1983, it was a part of many different Indian dioceses.

Missionaries entered Nepal proper in 1715, when Capuchin fathers entered the Kathmandu Valley at the invitation of the Malla Kings. The priests were given full authority to preach Christianity and even build a church. The Our Lady's Assumption Church was built in 1760, and the Annunciation of Our Lady was built in Bhaktapur.
After the unification of Nepal by Prithvi Narayan Shah into a Hindu kingdom, the priests were asked to leave for fear they were British spies. In 1769 the priests and many Nepalese Christians left for India and settled in Chuhari, Northern Bihar, where they have remained. In 1893, the whole of Nepal was added to the Prefecture of Bettiah, India. It was then a part of the Patna, India apostolic vicariate from 1919 until the establishment of the mission covering only Nepal in 1983.

With the introduction of democracy in 1951, Jesuit missionaries started educational institutions but were not allowed to evangelize. The Catholic Mission was established in 1983 with territory taken from Patna diocese in India and entrusted to the care of the Jesuits. In 1992 the Church of the Assumption, a new church built with its name hearkening back to the original Assumption church, was officially recognized. In 1996 the Mission was elevated to the rank of Apostolic Prefecture.

  • Capital:
  • Kathmandu
  • Population:
  • 26.5 million
  • Catholic:
  • 7,200
  • Diocese:
  • 1 apostolic prefecture
  • Major religion:
  • Hinduism 83%, Buddhism 10%, Islam 4%
As of 2004 there are 7,105 Catholics in Nepal. The Nepalese church continues to grow and become more active. A convent was inaugurated along with a training center in western Nepal in June 2006, a first for western Nepal.

The interim constitution, finalized in 2007, guarantees some religious freedom but prohibits people from trying to convert others.

Pope Benedict XVI elevated the prefecture of Nepal to the rank of a vicariate in 2007 and appointed Fr Anthony Sharma as the first vicar and first Nepalese bishop of the Catholic Church.

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Nepal