Underground Bible Recording in Bhutan

Bhutan is a small and mysterious nation nestled in the Himalayan mountains. It is often referred to as the “Land of the Thunder Dragon.” Unfortunately, Bhutan remains largely unreached, with only 0. 3% of the population having been reached and a mere 0. 24% professing to believe in Christ. The majority of the underground Christian population consists of Nepalese, who originally hail from Nepal.

It is largely assumed and understood that all Bhutanese citizens are Buddhists. Those who choose to convert to Christianity are closely monitored and often face pressure to return to their former religion. It is important to note that the majority of groups in Bhutan fall into the “Frontier Unreached” category, as they have never been exposed to the gospel message from either external or internal sources.

Consequently, a staggering 99. 7% of the indigenous Bhutanese have never been exposed to the gospel or even heard the name of Jesus. In fact, the government refuses to acknowledge the presence of any Christian missionaries within their borders.

The Bhutanese constitution recognizes Buddhism as the state’s “spiritual heritage,” guarantees freedom of religion, and prohibits discrimination based on religious beliefs. However, it also states that religious institutions and personalities should remain “above politics.” Unfortunately, this provision is sometimes misused to restrict religious speech and create animosity among different religious groups.

The lack of clarity in the law puts the Bhutanese underground house church at risk of facing legal sanctions from the government. Bhutan has been listed on the annual World Watch List by the international Christian NGO, Open Doors. The 2021 report, covering events in 2020, alleges discrimination against Christians, as Christians face neglect and struggle with poverty.

But, God is moving. Indigenous believers, supported by BTJ, are utilizing an underground recording studio to produce an audio Bible in a local language understood by at least 30% of Bhutanese individuals. Currently, two-thirds of the Bible has been successfully recorded. The Word of God is desperately needed in this community to strengthen the current believers and to share the gospel with those who have not yet heard. Let us pray for a swift, accurate, and secure completion of the remaining third of Scripture.

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