Bhutan - Photo: Pixabay

Bhutan

Bhutan has been dominated by Buddhism since the seventh century and prides itself in its strong history as a spiritual destination for mystics and ascetics. While Christians enjoyed a measure of freedom beginning in 1965, Bhutan again established tight restrictions in 1990. Bhutan’s constitution (2008) and other legislation officially protect religious freedom, but the country’s National Security Act (NSA) prohibits any “words either spoken or written, or by other means whatsoever, that promote or attempt to promote, on grounds of religion, race, language, caste, or community, or on any other ground whatsoever, feelings of enmity or hatred between different religious, racial, or language groups or castes and communities.” Essentially, conversions to any religion except Buddhism are considered foreign intrusions on the nation’s identity and stability.

Christians of any denomination make up less than three percent of the total population and are denied even the most basic rights of a Bhutanese citizen such as employment, free education and access to electricity and water. Most Christians must meet in homes and potentially face harassment, beatings and loss of citizenship. Despite concentrated efforts to silence believers, churches are being established and the Gospel is making some headway.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
782,318 (July 2020 est.)

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

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

Leader
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.

end

Select a Region

Bhutan News