From 'the roof of the world' along the Tibetan border (where Everest is located), Nepal decends to a 500-mile ribbon of sub-tropical lowland in the south. In between, verdant foothills rise to key towns including Pokhara and Kathmandu, the bustling capital city and stopping-off place for trekkers and tourists.
Nepal is - despite tourism - woefully under-developed. Landlocked and isolated, its economy depends heavily on outside aid and trade with neighbouring India. Between a quarter and half the population lives below the poverty line. Educational standards and literacy levels are low, and life for many comprises daily toil on the land.
The complex social and religious laws of Hinduism dominate life for the majority, with the vulnerable often being downtrodden and marginalised.
Religion: Hindu (80%+). Buddhist, Muslim, Christian & other minorities.
Christians in Nepal
The Christian Church in Nepal has experienced remarkable and dynamic growth over the last half-century.
This is all the more remarkable given that while certain levels of religious freedom - including of personal worship - have traditionally been guaranteed in this majority Hindu country, proselytism (encouraging people to change to a different faith) has been strictly forbidden.
Indigenous Nepali Christian leaders have become increasingly well trained and adept at circumventing these restrictions. As part of a vision for ongoing church growth, they have extended activity to engage in social action (such as poverty alleviation and healthcare projects), as well as campaigning against social ills such as exploitation of women and children, and caste discrimination.