Take action!
How to Get Involved
 
 

Signs of Greater Religious Freedom in Bhutan?

10/25/2011 Bhutan (MNN) - Over the last ten years, Southern Baptists in particular have been praying for the nation of Bhutan, which comes in at #14 on the Open Doors World Watch List for the nations with the worst persecution toward Christians.

Although the nation remains extremely oppressive compared to free nations, International Mission Board reports that prayers over the last decade have clearly been answered.

In 2001, Baptists committed their National Day of Prayer and Fasting for the World and Evangelization to Bhutan, the only country recognized as a Tibetan Buddhist Kingdom. Ten years later, one Bhutanese pastor reports, "The prayers are working."

In the mid-1990s, Bhutan's government banned Christianity. They felt it could be a divisive religion if it grew too strong. It was against the law to "coerce anyone to believe differently."

The latter has not altogether changed. Christians are still not allowed to "proselytize" or partake in any festivity or holiday that is not Buddhist.

But headway has been made on the religious freedom horizon. "We are allowed to have faith in Jesus now," says the same pastor, who was exiled from Bhutan years ago for sharing Christ. The man still helps train others in Bhutan to plant churches, and the churches are growing.

Part of this growth is due to the introduction of New Testament translations in three more languages in the last ten years. "I'm fairly good at English. Yet, there is nothing like reading [the Scriptures] in your own language. Somehow, the Bible and what it's saying becomes more meaningful," says the pastor. "People tell me they understand it now because it's speaking to them."

The churches still face persecution. For some, every time they meet, the power and water supplies are cut off in the homes. When the village has light, the home hosting church has none. They still have to be very careful with whom they share the Truth.

...

[Full Story]

Forward to a friend
  • Kids

    Care for orphans and hurting children

    read more
  • Families

    Support wives and children of imprisoned or martyed pastors

    read more
  • Pastors

    Spread the gospel by supporting underground pastors

    read more
  • Women

    Save women from abduction and sexual exploitation

    read more
  • Communities

    Help rebuild communities devastated by persecution

    read more

Other Projects

other projects

ICC is constantly monitoring the state of Christian persecution in countries around the world and looking for ways that we can act as bridge between our supporters and the persecuted church. Beyond the projects you see above, we are working in many other areas to provide practical assistance to our brothers and sisters in Christ. View our other projects page to understand more of our work and keep up to date on our current projects.