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A Bhutanese Christian Serving Three Years; Two More in Hiding for Showing Film on Jesus

ICC Note

Please contact the officials of Bhutan in your countries and ask them to release the imprisoned Christian and not to imprison the other two.

Washington, D.C. (November 12, 2010)–International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Bhutanese police are seeking to arrest two more Christians for involvement in showing of a film about Jesus.

In our press release posted on October 29 [see: https://www.persecution.org/2010/10/29/bhutanese-man-sentenced-to-three-years-in-prison-for-christian-film/], we reported that Prem Singh Gurung had been sentenced to three years imprisonment for showing the film. He is jailed in the town of Gelephu.

On October 22, ICC wrote a letter to the representatives of Bhutan at the UN, protesting the sentencing of Gurung. ICC stated that Gurung has the right, under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to express his religious beliefs [including the right to receive and impart information and ideas through any media.] 

In response to the letter, Bhutanese officials defended the sentencing, stating that although they respect the freedom of religion, “no person shall be compelled to belong to another faith by means of coercion or inducement.” The officials, however, haven’t demonstrated any evidence of forceful conversion by Gurung.

ICC’s Regional Manager for South Asia, Jonathan Racho, said, “We strongly condemn the Bhutanese government for imprisoning Mr. Gurung for  three years for showing the film and hunting down two more Christians for participating in showing the film. We once again call upon the government of Bhutan to show their commitment to the international human rights law by releasing Gurung and not imprisoning the other two Christians.”

Please contact the officials of Bhutan in your countries and politely ask them to release Gurung.

Bhutan Embassies

US: 212 6822268
Belgium: 3227323880
Switzerland: 41227990890
Germany: +49-228-334-725
UK: +44 1483 538 189