Climate: varies; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in central valleys; severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas
Terrain: mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna
Environment Issues: soil erosion; limited access to potable water; wildlife conservation; industrial pollution; waste disposal.
Languages: Sharchhopka 28%, Dzongkha (official) 24%, Lhotshamkha 22%, other 26% (includes foreign languages) (2005 est.)
Government Type: constitutional monarchy
URGENT is engaged in the following activities within Bhutan:
- Church Planting
- Humanitarian Efforts
Bhutan was effectively closed to all Christian witness until 1965. This was followed by 25 years of slight relaxation, during which Indian and other expatriate NGOs were able to witness. Since 1990, restrictions have increased. The spread of Christian witness and the potentially “destabilizing” effects on society of proselytism and Western-style democracy are the pretexts for harsh treatment of Christians. Pray for the growth of the Church in this land.
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.
- Pray for Bhutan to once again open its doors to a vibrant Christian witness.
- Pray for Christians to stand firm and multiply despite harsh treatment and harassment.
- Pray for human rights abuses against the Nepali Bhutanese to be replaced by love and compassion in the name of Christ.
- Security Tier: 2
- Religion: Buddhist
- Engagement Scale: 3
27.4712° N, 89.6339° E
(1=High to 50=Low)