Christianity in Bhutan invites your attention?


The 65,000 Christians have only one church at their disposal. Christians in the state administration or in private companies must sign so-called "Norms and Rules for Religious Practice". The document places restrictions on a Christian's religious life and social position; Christians are not to receive medical assistance from the state and are not eligible for job promotion. Their children must pay high tuition fees, whereas Buddhist and Hindu children enjoy free education. Mission work and travel abroad are strictly forbidden to all Christians. Whoever refuses to sign this restrictive document is forced to leave Bhutan. In addition to all this discrimination, many Christians have been forcefully driven from their villages by their own Buddhist neighbors. That is the reason Rev. Fr. Kinley, the cousin of the present King of Bhutan H.M. Jigme Singe Wangchuk had to leave his country after becoming a Christian. Christians in Jails of Bhutan: These two men, who are government workers, are "Benjamin" (Budhu Mani Dungana) and "John" (Purna Bahadhur Tamang). They were arrested on January 7, 2006, in the small town of Paro while they were on their way to "preach the word of God" to a small group of people. While the Chief Judge for the district court of Paro did not consider the case serious enough to keep the men in prison, it was moved to the Crime and Investigation Department of the Royal Bhutan Police in Thimphu, Bhutan's capital. Lt. Col. Kipchu, head of the Crime and Investigation Department, is known to be violently opposed to Christianity, and has dragged the two men from Paro to Thimphu and back again multiple times and imprisoned them under wretched conditions. Benjamin, who is married and has three children, worked as a General Nurse Midwife (GNM) at Jigme Dorji Wangchuk national referral hospital. John, who is married with one child, was an Auditor at the Royal Audit Authority. They were given 10 days to appeal for bail and fight the case with the help of a prominent lawyer. However, as one source from Bhutan said, "In Bhutan the government is always right, we are always wrong. So there is very little chance of winning the case unless there is intervention from [on] high."

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