How many Christians are there in Bhutan?
There are 30,000 Christians in Bhutan. Even though Bhutan is a small country, they are a tiny minority – just 3.6 per cent of the total population.
What does persecution look like in Bhutan?
All Bhutanese citizens are expected to be Buddhists. Anyone who converts to Christianity faces intense pressure to return to their former religion. Conversion is considered to bring shame on the family, and new believers are often disowned. This makes an enormous difference in a Bhutanese person's life, since the culture is very communal and the protection of family is crucial.
All Christians who worship together are technically worshipping illegally, since Bhutan's government doesn't officially recognize any churches. Local authorities often refuse to issue Christians a "non-objection certificate," which is needed for loan applications, registering property, applying for jobs and renewing ID cards.
Christians who have converted from Buddhism face the most persecution in Bhutan.
Miriam was rejected by her family when she converted from Buddhism, but still follows Jesus—and encourages other Christian women.
“When I heard about Jesus it was like removing the blindfold from my eyes.”Miriam
Bhutan is up 9 places in the World Watch List ranking, due to an increase in violence against Christians.
How can you pray for Bhutan?
- Pray that believers who've been rejected by their families would find new communities to offer family, love and hope.
- Pray that God would use the practical support being provided by Open Doors partners to strengthen Christians facing persecution.
- Pray for religious freedom in Bhutan, and for the government to officially recognise Christian churches.
Dear Lord, we lift up our persecuted church family in Bhutan. We pray that You would speak gently and clearly to Your children there, showing them Your love and offering protection from their enemies. Bless the support given by local Open Doors partners, so that it will enrich and equip the Bhutanese church. Amen.