About the People

The Gorkha/Nepalese people live throughout southern Asia. The predominant religion among this people group is Hinduism, but many are also Buddhists. Some are Christians or Muslims. The Gorkha/Nepalese people are divided into more than 50 different sub-ethnic groups, such as the Newars, Thakalis, Rais, Limbus, Tamangs, Magars and many more. Each group has its own language, culture and traditions. The common language spoken among all the groups is Nepali. Some live in the mountains, while others live in the plains.

Nepal is located in the Himalayas, sandwiched between China to the north and India to the south. It is a land of rich geography. The mountainous north has eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest. It contains more than 240 peaks over 20,000 feet. The fertile, humid south is heavily urbanized, with Kathmandu serving as the nation’s capital and largest city.

For more than 300 years, Nepal was ruled by a monarchy of the Shah dynasty. However, a decade of civil war with Maoists and weeks of mass protests by all the major political parties led to the election of a constituent assembly in 2008 that voted to abolish the monarchy in favor of a democratic republic.

About the Project

With Nepali ethnic sub-groups spread all over Southern Asia, their needs are quite diverse. But they all share the common plight of being almost entirely without a Gospel witness to point them to Christ. In Nepal itself, the years of civil war made cross-cultural missionary work difficult or impossible. Only recently has Nepal begun to reopen to ministry.

The Gorkha Project has been suspended due to political pressures that finally resulted in the denial of missionary visas. However, AFM missionaries left a small but thriving church in Darjeeling, and they continue to mentor its leadership and visit it as they are able.

People-Group Facts

  • Population: 27 million
  • Language: Nepali
  • Religion: 81% Hindu, 9% Buddhist

    Project Update

    Entered area in 2007

    Project closed early due to local situation in 2013

    Churches — 1
    Members — 30