BHUTAN: Prayer Request for 40 pastors

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Pray for 30 to 40 pastors and leaders who are studying in an underground Bible school. They are using the Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) materials to gain solid, practical Biblical training for work among persecuted believers in Bhutan.

Globalization and modernization are gradually opening Bhutan to the outside world, but it remains one of the smallest and least developed economies in the world. Bhutan made the shift to democratic rule in March 2008. Out of 35 different people groups, 32 are unreached by the gospel.

The number of Christians in Bhutan is estimated at between 3,000 and 6,000 people, most of them secret believers. Christians face societal discrimination as well as anti-Christian policies. Christian leaders say they may practice their faith in private homes, but public worship and evangelism are limited by government policies against non-Buddhist houses of worship and meetings.

Bhutan’s National Security Act (NSA) further restricts freedom of religion by prohibiting “words either spoken or written, or by other means whatsoever, that promote or attempt to promote, on grounds of religion, race, language, caste, or community, or on any other ground whatsoever, feelings of enmity or hatred between different religious, racial, or language groups or castes and communities.”

In 2011, the prime minister stated that he views conversions to Christianity as “the worst form of intolerance.” This article is similar to the “anti-conversion laws” in place in some Indian states. Only Buddhist religious texts are allowed in the country.

The Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide. VOM was founded in 1967 by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned 14 years in Communist Romania for his faith in Christ. His wife, Sabina, was imprisoned for three years. In the 1960s, Richard, Sabina, and their son, Mihai, were ransomed out of Romania and came to the United States. Through their travels, the Wurmbrands spread the message of the atrocities that Christians face in restricted nations, while establishing a network of offices dedicated to assisting the persecuted church.

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