Three quarters of the country are mountainous regions and eight of the ten highest mountains in the world are in Nepal, including Mount Everest at 8,848 m. The southern strip of this country, squeezed between the two giants China and India, is fertile flatland. The further north you go, the higher the mountains become and the sparser the settlement becomes. The capital Kathmandu is the only major city of note in the country; most Nepalis live in village settlements. Overall, Nepal is a very poor and underdeveloped country.
Religion shapes Nepalese culture and everyday life. 80% of the people in Nepal are Hindus, 10% Buddhists - some both at the same time. Nepal was a Hindu monarchy until 2007, but has since been considered a secular republic. Christians and other religious minorities have increased in numbers; Christians have experienced a revival like in the times of Acts. At the end of 2017, however, an anti-conversion law was introduced. Since then, it has been forbidden in Nepal to recruit anyone to change religion, regardless of the means. Violations can be punished with five years in prison or a fine. Minorities complain that this restricts religious freedom. For Christians, the law creates a lot of uncertainty. The essentially secular constitution protects Nepal's traditional religions, Hinduism and Buddhism.
Unfortunately, in recent years there has been repeated persecution of religious minorities by Nepalese Hindu nationalists in Nepal.