KATHMANDU, Nepal -- Nepal is a Hindu-majority nation famous for its high peaks, but now, its tiny Christian population is reaching new heights.
The country has one of the fastest-growing Christian communities in the world, tripling to more than 300,000 in the past 10 years. Those numbers are continuing to climb.
More than 80 percent of the Nepali population is Hindu. Recently, more than 3 million Hindus from all over the world came to celebrate Sheva Ratri, one of their biggest festivals.
At the countries largest Hindu temple, they observe different rituals believing that this can give them good health, prosperity, and a good life.
Haary Pandey grew up in a family that strictly followed these Hindu practices, but as a teenager he struggled because there were too many rules to follow.
"When somebody died in our family, we have to shave our heads. and we cannot eat salt for 12 to 13 days," he told CBN News. "When I was in the Hindu religion, I have no faith in the God of that religion, but I was worshiping the gods and idols and photos."
Haary hoped that by following these rituals, the Hindu gods could get him out of his problems. Unfortunately, his financial problems became worse (and) forced him to live abroad with an uncle who sponsored his education."
"When I was in UAE, I heard about Jesus Christ. My friends told me...encouraged me to read the Bible, to read the Word of God," he said.
Five years later, Haary went back home to Nepal, where a friend brought him to an annual youth camp organized by Evelyn Martin, a Filipino worker in the country.
Evelyn and her daughter, Sam, teach people about God's love.
"Our goal is to empower and to affect other churches as well," she said. "Young people are the ones who are open to the Gospel and the young people are also on fire and they share this to their classmates, to their family members, and they have become bold."
It was in a youth camp that Haary had an encounter with the one true God.
"I couldn't believe that the Holy Spirit came inside me. From that time my faith grow bigger and bigger and I keep saying, 'Wow! God is alive. God is alive.'"
Not only has Haary been freed from depression, but from demonic oppression as well.
"Some of my uncles are witchdoctors and it's very hard for me to tell them I got saved, I've become a Christian," he said. "I am praying that all my family will be saved like me."
Studies show that more and more Nepalese are becoming Christians.
They say one reason for the rising number of new believers in Nepal is the new Constitution, which turned the country from an official Hindu Kingdom into a secular state.
There is now more freedom of religion in Nepal, but proselytizing is still punishable by law. Nepali Christians continue to suffer inequality and persecution, but despite the opposition, Nepalese are turning to Christianity because of the love shown to them by Christians.
"Nepal is one of the fastest growing Christian populations in the world," Evelyn Martin said. "They're trying to bring salvation in a country where they worship 330 million gods."