King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
All Bhutanese citizens are expected to be Buddhists. Anyone who converts to Christianity faces intense pressure to return to their former religion. Conversion is considered to bring shame on the family, and new believers are often disowned—which makes an enormous difference in a Bhutanese person’s life, since the culture is very communal and the protection of family is crucial.
All Christians who worship together are technically worshiping illegally, since Bhutan’s government doesn’t officially recognize any churches. Local authorities often refuse to issue Christians a “non-objection certificate,” which is needed for loan applications, registering property, applying for jobs and renewing ID cards.
“When I heard about Jesus, it was like removing the blindfold from my eyes.”
Miriam was rejected by her family when she converted from Buddhism, but still follows Jesus—and encourages other Christian women.
Bhutan has risen up the World Watch List due to an increase in violence against Christians.
Christians who have converted from Buddhism face the most persecution in Bhutan.
Open Doors works through local partners to strengthen persecuted Christians in Bhutan through relief aid, prayer support and other practical emergency help.