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Region South Asia
Leader King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Population 793 000
Christian 2.5%
Main Religion Mahayana Buddhism
Government Constitutional Monarchy
Rank 33
Score 62
Previous Rank 30
Previous Score 61

“Scripture says in Romans 13:1 that we are to submit under the authority. Bhutanese Christians abide by this. Your most honourable judge, I am ready to lay down my life.”

Located between the two powers, India and China, Bhutan strives for autonomy and cultural unity. As a historic Buddhist kingdom, people are expected to participate in festivals and uphold traditions. All who refuse are met with suspicion. Christianity is seen as a foreign and dangerous religion. No congregation has ever been allowed to build a church. All Christian fellowship remains underground. Christians are monitored, and their meetings can be threatened and closed. They are discriminated against and live in difficult economic and social circumstances.

Many Christians have not been issued with an electronic identity card. They, therefore, cannot access government services like healthcare. They cannot travel, enrol at a school or apply for jobs. This puts immense pressure on the struggling underground Church. The Church faces many critical issues such as disunity, a lack of trained leaders, and Christian resources. Immorality and social and family problems are also rife.

Open Doors strengthens the persecuted Church in Bhutan primarily through prayer support, advocacy and awareness, persecution preparedness programmes, literature distribution, discipleship and literacy training.

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