Leader: King Jigme Wangchuck
Government: Constitutional monarchy
Population: 776,000 (20,000 Christians)
Main Religion: Mahayana Buddhism
Persecution Level: Moderate
Source of persecution: Religious nationalism
An increasingly strict emphasis on Buddhism as the country’s spiritual heritage makes it hard for the Christian minority to claim their space. Bhutan used to be a Buddhist kingdom for centuries. Even after introducing a constitutional monarchy and installing democratic elections, Buddhism continues to play the dominant role in the country. Buddhist monks resent and oppose the presence of Christians and authorities do nothing to protect them; on the contrary, they side with the monks. Christians in remote villages still encounter many difficulties as church meetings continue to be monitored and disrupted. Registration of churches or ownership of a church building is not possible.