The reaction of Nepalese people towards Christian faith based organization in Sunsari, Nepal
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Nordstokke (2013) and Clarke (2006) state that there has been increasing interest in the contributions of Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) as development actors. Consequently, donors and international organizations have of recent not only recognized the importance of the FBOs in development but also involved them in international development programs, including bodies like the World Bank. The FBOs’ characteristics which distinguish them from other NGOs, for example; their moral and spiritual values and their connectedness grant them an ability to mobilize faith communities and engender development. While such organizations work in communities which may be of different faith than themselves, there are potential tensions and suspicions that may rise in communities, as the host religions may not want the FBOs to proselytize. In this paper, the FBOs that work in Sunsari a district of Nepal are assessed in terms of their contribution to the community, and how the community beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries perceive their presence in the area. Clarke has provided a useful description of FBOs and how it corresponds to their work in relation to the issue of seeking converts. It is a qualitative and explorative study which seeks to understand the perceptions of the people towards the work of FBOs working in the area. Using semi-structured interviews data was collected and thematically analyzed. The findings show that the work of FBOs in Sunsari has done a commendable job in the transformation of the lives of the people of Sunsari. Social-economic transformation has been a positive development that the FBOs have brought to the area. The study also observed that there is were suspicions from the community over the claims that the FBOs are engaging in development work hidden agenda of winning converts. The study using sense of community theory has argued for the need that the FBOs should integrate more by allowing access and participation of the local community which will help to build trust and increase social cohesion.