Karthak, Robert

(b. 1926)
   pioneer Protestant missionary in Nepal
   Robert Karthak was born into a Christian family in Kalimpong, India, on January 10, 1926. As a young adult, he served as a youth leader at the MacFarlane Memorial Church, a scottish Presbyterian congregation in his hometown. The church had developed a ministry over the years to Nepali immigrants. In 1956, Karthak moved to Kathmandu, along with some young people who became the nucleus of a new Christian congregation.
   in 1951, the predominantly Hindu country had begun to open to the outside world. By the time Karthak arrived, several churches had been opened in Nepal. In 1957, he founded the Gyaneswor Church in Kathmandu, and he emerged as a dominant leader in the expanding Protestant community. He was a cofounder of the Nepal Christian Fellowship and served as its president for 15 years starting in 1963. During that time, he also served on the committee that helped bring the Bible society to Nepal. The fellowship aimed at avoiding the denominational differences that had been so much a part of Protestantism elsewhere, but it subsequently aligned with the Evangelical Fellowship of Asia and the World Evangelical Alliance.
   Karthak traveled across the country assisting new churches, and he represented the Nepalese Christian community at international gatherings.
   Under his pastoral leadership, Gyaneswor Church's membership exceeded 1,000. Adjacent to the church, Presbyterians support Bethany Ashram, a multipurpose center that serves as a hospice, nursing home, and old people's home.
   See also Asia.
   Further reading:
   ■ Jonathan Lindell, Nepal and the Gospel of God (Kathmandu: United Mission to Nepal, 1979)
   ■ Scott W. Sunquist, ed., A Dictionary of Asian Christianity (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 2001).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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