On December 3, Tandin Wangyal, the Bhutanese pastor convicted of holding an illegal Christian conference, was able to present rebuttals at an evidence hearing in Samtse Court.
“My hearing went well,” says Tandin. “Last time, the court asked for transaction evidence to be produced in the court, but the Office of the Attorney General didn’t present anything. They told the court that whatever they submitted in Dorokha lower court during the earlier evidence hearing is all they have to submit.”
“This came as a big surprise to me,” he adds. “I thank God for this miracle. A million thanks for all your prayer support.”
Tandin was convicted on September 10th on two charges. The first charge was for showing a film without an official permit as required under Sections 105 and 110 of Bhutan’s Media Act of 2007. For this, the convicted pastor received a sentence of eight months in prison. The second charge was for collecting funds from a foreign agency between 2012 to March 2014 – a felony offense carrying a penalty of three years and three months. The second charge is a non-bailable offense.
Tandin was sentenced to three years and eleven months in prison without bail on the charge of soliciting funds from the public for personal gain. But on September 15th, Pastor Tandin Wangyal was granted a one-year bail after spending four nights at the Samtse Central Jail. He paid $750 for the bail.
“This doesn’t mean that he will be free for one year,” said a local source, unnamed for security reasons. “It only means that he would be able to attend court hearings while his appeal for reconsideration will be heard by a different court, the Samtse higher court. It is hard to say how long the hearings will go on.”
The date of Tandin’s next court hearing has not yet been clearly set, but the pastor still needs believers around the world to be on their knees praying for Tandin, his family, and his lawyer throughout this process.
We join with Tandin in giving thanks. Together, as we prayed for our brother, we are overwhelmed by the unity of Your Spirit that abundantly flowed these past several months. Father, we praise You for Your watchful care over Tandin during his time of imprisonment, house arrest, and court appearances. Father God, we can clearly see Your Hand in the details, knowing that You are busy at work, building Your Church in Bhutan. Guide Tandin, his family and lawyers as they continue to present their case in court, knowing that each time they appear, the truth of the gospel is heard. May that truth awaken those who are living in spiritual darkness; draw them to Yourself. In the name of Jesus, who sets free those living in bondage to sin, Amen!