Voice of the Martyrs, country to pray for this week: 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. Preserving national identity is extremely important to the government, and national dress is compulsory. Bhutan made the shift to democratic rule in March 2008.

Category: Restricted Nation
Religion: Buddhist 74.6%, Christian 2.1%
Ideology: Buddhism/Hinduism
Head of State: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck

The number of Christians in Bhutan is estimated at between 3,000 and 6,000, mostly secret believers. Christians face social discrimination as well as anti-Christian policies. They may practice their faith in private, but public worship and evangelism are limited. Only Buddhist religious texts are allowed in the country. Non-Buddhist houses of worship and meetings are forbidden, and Bhutan’s National Security Act (NSA) prohibits proselytism or incitement to convert. Christians are denied state benefits such as free education, access to electricity and water, health care and employment. Converts face loss of citizenship. VOM sponsors an underground Bible school that is training 30 to 40 pastors.

Daily Prayer Requests:
February 5:  Pray that Bhutan's "pursuit of happiness" will be replaced with faith in Christ.
February 6:  Pray for "Jul" and other Christians who are persecuted for their commitment to Christ.
February 7:  Pray for Voice of the Martyrs underground Bible schools.
February 8:  Pray for Christians in the Buddhist nation.  Some Buddhist see Christianity as a threat.
February 9:  Thirty-two of Bhutan's 35 people groups are unreached with the gospel.
February 10:  Bhutan is one of the most restricted nations in the world for Christians.
February 11:  Pray for King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.