Bhutan: Christian couple denied government support unless they convert to Buddhism

June 4, 2021

Vajrayana Buddhism is the state religion of Bhutan. Less than one percent of the Bhutanese population is Christian; most of these are Protestants. There is no recorded Orthodox Christian presence in Bhutan. While the Bhutanese constitution allows for religious freedom, there are laws against forced conversion that have been used to restrict Christian activity even when that activity is entirely voluntary.

In practice in Bhutan, Christians face discrimination, ostracism, and other hardships. Please aid Bhutanese Christians in carrying their cross with your prayers.

“Christian couple in Bhutan denied government support unless they convert to Buddhism,” Barnabas Fund, June 1, 2021:

A homeless Christian couple in Bhutan are being denied any help or support from the government unless they convert to Buddhism.

The couple, whose daughter recently died, were chased away from their home and their land by other villagers, and now find themselves without anywhere to live.

Government officials have told the couple that they can be provided with food and accommodation, but only if they agree to say Buddhist prayers and take part in meditation….

Bhutan is an officially Buddhist country, with almost 75% of the population practising Buddhism and almost 23% Hinduism. The Christian community represents a tiny percentage of the population.

The constitution of Bhutan officially guarantees freedom of religion and outlaws religiously motivated discrimination. Christians, however, are often considered second-class citizens and routinely denied government aid and jobs. Churches are barred from owning property, conducting evangelism, or importing Bibles and Christian literature from abroad.