On October 6th, Prem Singh Gurung, a Bhutanese Christian, was sentenced to three years in prison for showing a film about Christianity. He is accused of “promoting civil unrest.”
You can help free him! First, read our information below and find out all you can about Gurung and the case against him. Then take a look at the top menu to see the different actions you can take to help free him. Evil likes to hide in darkness, so help us shine the light on injustice and free Gurung!
The Case Against Gurung
According to the report by the government-run daily Kuensel, Gurung was arrested on May 21 after he showed a Christian film in the villages of Simkharkha and Gonggaon. The villagers alleged that Gurung showed the film about Christianity after telling them that he would show them a Nepali film.
After detaining him for more than a month, the police charged him with promoting civil unrest and violating sections 105(1) and 110 of the Bhutan Information, Communication and Media Act. According to this Act, it’s illegal to show films without getting authorization from government officials.
Gurung is currently held at a prison in the town of Gelephu, Bhutan. Bhutan is a predominately Buddhist nation with 75% of the population adhering to that faith. Hindus comprise another 22% of the population. The number of Christians in the country is estimated to be less than 10,000.
Bhutan Government’s Response to ICC
ICC wrote to the government of Bhutan protesting the sentencing. The officials responded by saying that Gurung was prosecuted for “carrying out an act that is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious groups.” However, Gurung was only exercising his religious freedom by showing the film about Christianity.
The government of Bhutan also told ICC that while they respect religious freedom, they don’t allow for anyone to be compelled or coerced into accepted other religious. We agree that no one should be forced to accept any religion, but showing a film is clearly not coercion.
Updates on Prem Singh Gurung
The police in Bhutan are searching to imprison two other Christians accusing them of involvement in showing the film. The two Christians carried a portable generator with Gurung to the villages where they showed the film because there is no electricity at the villages.
Please continue praying for Gurung and his family as well as the two Christians who are in hiding. Also, contact Bhutan officials and ask them to immediately release Gurung and not to imprison the two Christians.
Click here for more detailed information on the latest arrests.