Christians in this Buddhist nation have been awaiting a decision on whether they will receive official recognition, but it appears they will first see a measure against fraudulent conversion that the prime minister acknowledges is essentially designed to deter evangelism.
Church leaders said they were distressed with the government’s notion of Christians and Christianity, which they said was far from true. “No evidence of such allegations has come to our knowledge, but still we will never try to defend anyone who indulges in unethical conversions,” said a Christian leader from Thimphu on condition of anonymity.
Bhutan Minister for Home and Culture Minjur Dorji said that his department has yet to decide whether Christians could be recognized officially. “There is no legal provision for that,” he said. “It’s not in the constitution, and not in the Religious Organizations Act.”