Prayer File: Bhutan
Bhutan is the only country in the world to have adopted Mahayana Buddhism in its Tantric form as its official religion.
Bhutan is the only country in the world to have adopted Mahayana Buddhism in its Tantric form as its official religion. The word “Tantrism” comes from Tantras, the name of a body of esoteric texts divided into 4 groups; tantras of action, tantras of behaviour, tantras of t@oga, and finally tantras @ 6without any superiors”. Tantric Buddhism came to Bhutan in the 8 century and today its population of about 600,000 is over 70% Buddhist. Hindus constitute 24% while Protestant Christians make up only 0.3%. All Christian public worship and evangelism are prohibited.
- The total number of believers is estimated to be around 2000. There are 3 main groups meeting in house fellowships: The Christian Brethren with about 20 house fellowships in 4 different districts, the Pentecostals with 1 house fellowship and 1 outreach point, and the Internationals (from UNICEF, UNDP etc). Pray for unity and increased cooperation among believers and for a greater opening of this land for the light of the gospel.
- A local church leader shared on the recent conversion of a monk from Tashigang District through reading the Bible belonging to his son (a believer). He discovered that only Jesus’ blood could wash away his sins. His entire household subsequently came to the Lord. Pray for the work of Bible translation in the official Dzongkha language and other ethnic languages. Intercede for the spread of the gospel through Christian Literature distribution via personal contacts and the mail.
- Many members of the Royal Family and government high officials study in Mission Schools in India and overseas. Pray that as they come into contact with the gospel and Christian friends, they will put their trust in Jesus.
- Persecution of believers continue especially in the rural areas. Many are pressured to choose between leaving their faith or their country. Pray for strength and courage to remain faithful and for Christians in Bhutan and neighbouring India and Nepal to stand together and support their persecuted brethren.
- With the push by His Majesty Jigme Sangye Wangchuk for reforms and development, new opportunities in Information Technology, Hydroelectric Power Projects, Higher Education etc. are there for tentmakers to enter Bhutan to speed up the gospel and strengthen God’s churches there. Pray for the Lord to call and send suitable tentmakers to enhance Christian witness in this needy land.
- The training of church leaders and believers is of utmost urgency if the church in Bhutan is to maintain a strong and vibrant witness. Pray for MAP as we look into training needs for His people in Bhutan.