Christian couple in Bhutan denied government support unless they convert to Buddhism

1 June 2021

A homeless Christian couple in Bhutan are being denied any help or support from the government unless they convert to Buddhism.

The couple, whose daughter recently died, were chased away from their home and their land by other villagers, and now find themselves without anywhere to live.

Government officials have told the couple that they can be provided with food and accommodation, but only if they agree to say Buddhist prayers and take part in meditation.

Other Christians from neighbouring villages are trying to support the couple, but they themselves are the victims of poverty and oppression.

Bhutan is an officially Buddhist country, with almost 75% of the population practising Buddhism and almost 23% Hinduism. The Christian community represents a tiny percentage of the population.

The constitution of Bhutan officially guarantees freedom of religion and outlaws religiously motivated discrimination. Christians, however, are often considered second-class citizens and routinely denied government aid and jobs. Churches are barred from owning property, conducting evangelism, or importing Bibles and Christian literature from abroad.

From Barnabas Fund contacts    

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