Fill 1

34

Score

66.71

Region

Asia

Persecution Type

Religious nationalism

Religion

Buddhism

Persecution Level

Very High

Population

844,000

Christian

30,000

Government

Constitutional monarchy

Leader

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck

Profile of Persecution

Violence 1.7/16.7
Church Life 13.8/16.7
National Life 13.7/16.7
Community Life 11.7/16.7
Family Life 12.4/16.7
Private Life 13.4/16.7

What does persecution look like in Bhutan?

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.

Meet “Miriam”

“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.

What has changed this year?

Bhutan has risen up the World Watch List due to an increase in violence against Christians.

Who is most vulnerable to persecution?

Christians who have converted from Buddhism face the most persecution in Bhutan.

What does Open Doors do to help?

Open Doors works through local partners to strengthen persecuted Christians in Bhutan through relief aid, prayer support and other practical emergency help.

Number of Christians statistic is an Open Doors estimate.

Pray for Bhutan

  • Pray that believers who have been rejected by their families would find new communities to offer family, love and hope.
  • Pray that God would use the practical support being provided by Open Doors partners to strengthen Christians facing persecution.
  • Ask God for religious freedom in Bhutan, and for the government to officially recognize Christian churches.

Stories from Bhutan

January 18, 2021

13 Christians murdered for following Jesus—every day

Read More -

June 25, 2020

Open Doors helps more than 100,000 people with COVID-19 relief

Read More -

April 2, 2020

‘It is very painful’: How coronavirus is impacting persecuted Christians in Asia

Read More -