Pray for true spiritual freedom in this “Land of the Dragon”. The Buddhist monarchy, the government policies to keep Bhutan isolated, and the strong hold of Vajrayana Buddhism resulted in Bhutan being one of the world’s least-evangelized nations. Bon (an indigenous religion) was replaced by Buddhism, but maintains a strong occultic/demonic influence. Pray for Jesus to reveal Himself to King Wangchuk and royal family, so that they might know His love and power. Among the 5 largest Tibetan/Himalayan peoples (Dzongkha, Tshangla, Lepcha, Kheng, Gurung), only the Lepcha have a significant Christian population. Pray for a fellowship of believers to witness among every ethnic group of the Bhutanese! A New Testament exists in Dzongkha (official language), but most languages have no Scriptures.
Christians are denied religious freedom and are persecuted in various ways. Church buildings are forbidden in all but a very few cases; most fellowships must meet in homes. Bhutanese who become Christian face the loss of their citizenship, of other benefits - such as free education, health care, employment - and of access to electricity and water. In some instances, harassment and beatings occur. Despite these, groups of believers are forming and increasingly spreading across the breadth of the country.
Border ministries. Indian believers in particular, but also Nepalis and others, are active in evangelism and literature distribution among Bhutanese. Many Christians in Bhutan have come to the Lord by these means. Pray that Bhutanese as well as Bhutanese students in India and around the world may hear the gospel and respond positively.
Media ministries are particularly helpful when witness within the country must be done cautiously. Pray for:
- Scripture translation and distribution. The NT has been translated in Dzongha, the national language. The majority of indigenous languages have no Scriptures whatsoever. Pray for the effective spread of Christian materials in the country and at the borders (GFA, EHC).
- Audio materials. GRN has produced Scripture or Christian recordings in 10 languages.
- Other media. Shortwave radio is available in some languages of Bhutan. GFA locally broadcasts a programme in the indigenous Dzongkha language. The JESUS film is used in and around Bhutan in five languages.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.