• Country Information

    876,181 (2023 est.)

    Ethnicity (%)
    Ngalop (50), Ethnic Nepalese (35), Indigenous or migrant tribes (15)

    Religion (%)
    Buddhist (75.3), Hindu (22.1), other (2.6)

    King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (2006)

    Government type
    Constitutional monarchy

    Legal system
    Civil law based on Buddhist religious law

    Source: CIA World Factbook

  • Pray for Bhutan

    Pray that Bhutan's young leader, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, will hear and respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and find true peace in Him.

    Ask God to increase the believers' witness in their communities, giving them the ability to lovingly oppose the ongoing pressure to engage in traditional Buddhist prayers and practices.

    Ask the Lord to provide for them, especially in cases where basic necessities are denied. Pray that they will also have all the resources they need to grow in Him.

Bhutan News

  • Pastor Imprisoned for Evangelism Released!
    Pastor Tandin and his wife

    The case against a pastor who was sentenced to prison for his evangelistic work has been dropped. Tandin Wangyal was originally detained along with another pastor, Mon Thapa, in March of 2014. The pastors were charged with the following: 1) conducting a gathering for a religious purpose without prior approval, 2) showing a film without certificate of approval from media authorities, and 3) collecting "illegal funds." (For more information on these charges, you can read our previous prayer alert.)

  • Pastors Under Fire for Evangelizing
    Pastor Tandin and his wife

    Two pastors are under fire for their evangelism work in the Buddhist nation of Bhutan. On September 10th, Pastor Tandin Wangyal was sentenced to nearly four years in prison on charges of receiving money for spreading Christianity. The pastor has since been released on bail but may still be forced to serve the prison term. VOM contacts are concerned for the welfare of Pastor Tandin's wife, Nengboi, and their three young sons, especially if the pastor is required to serve his sentence. The pastor's co-worker, M.B. Thapa, was sentenced to two years and four months, or a fine equivalent to approximately $1,800 CAD. He was released after paying the fine.

  • Government may legalise Christianity
    Outline map of Bhutan

    In the South Asian country of Bhutan, government officials recognise only Buddhism and Hinduism as the country's two religions. As a result, only these two communities have the right to openly practise their beliefs and build places of worship. That may soon change as Chhoedey Lhentshog, the authority that regulates religious organizations, discussed at its December meeting how a Christian organization can be registered to represent its community, according to agency secretary Dorji Tshering.

    For the first time in Bhutan's history, the Buddhist nation's government seems ready to grant much-awaited official recognition and accompanying rights to a miniscule Christian population that has remained largely underground.

    Asked if Christians were likely to enjoy the same rights soon, Tshering replied, "Absolutely." This is a shift in policy given that Bhutan's National Assembly banned open practice of non-Buddhist and non-Hindu religions in resolutions passed in 1969 and 1979, respectively. According to a Christianity Today source who requested anonymity, the government is likely to register only one Christian organization, and would expect it to represent all Christians in Bhutan--which would call for Christian unity in the country.

    Sources indicate that the government's willingness to recognize Christians is partly aimed at bringing the community under religious regulation. In October, a Bhutanese Christian was sentenced to three years in prison for "attempting to promote civil unrest" by screening films on Christianity (read the story).

    Thank the Lord that movement forward is being made. Pray for our fellow Bhutanese brothers and sisters and their efforts to share Jesus Christ with those around them. Pray that God will move among the authorities and open hearts to hearing His name and the words of His people.

    For more information about the treatment of Bhutanese Christians, visit Bhutan Country Report.

  • Christian sentenced to three years in prison
    A group of Bhuddist monks
    Monks gather outside the Tashichho Dzong monastery which is also the seat of government.
    Photo from Compass Direct

    A Christian was sentenced on October 6 to three years in prison for "attempting to promote civil unrest" by screening films on Christianity in the predominately Buddhist nation of Bhutan. Four months ago, Prem Singh Gurung (40) was arrested after local residents complained that he was showing Christian films in the villages of Gonggaon and Simkharkha in Jigmecholing block. Prem was charged with violation of the Bhutan Information, Communication and Media Act of 2006. Sections 105(1) and 110 of this law require that authorities examine all films before public screening. While Prem has the right to appeal, at last report it was not yet known if he intended to take that course or even had the resources to do so.

    Pray that God will bring to mind verses of Scripture to comfort Prem in his time of hardship (Psalm 119:49-56). Pray that he will continue to be a bold witness for Christ. Pray for enduring faith for other Bhutanese believers suffering for righteousness' sake.

    To learn more about the trials facing Bhutanese Christians, go to the Bhutan Country Report.