Forty believers from a Gospel for Asia (GFA) Believers Church were arrested last month and tortured for their faith. According to GFA officials, authorities told one pastor of the church to stop his evangelistic work or they would cut off the electricity and water supply to his home.
"I will persecute the Christians and put an end to them in Bhutan," the official, who was responsible for the Sept. 24 arrest, reportedly warned church members. Police, who harass Christians for not displaying a statue of Buddha, have searched the homes of many believers in the country of 2 million people.
About 75 percent of Bhutan is Bon Buddhist, a form of Buddhism with strong occult undercurrents. "The government subsidizes astrologers in every town," GFA officials said. "Pray that God will free the people of Bhutan to know and worship the king of glory."
But despite harassment of Christians, the gospel is bearing fruit. A Bhutanese official who had long persecuted and arrested Christians in his district died recently.
"He never allowed Christians to meet for fellowship," GFA officials said. "Many Christians were arrested and died in police custody." But on his deathbed, the man accepted Christ, confessing that his greatest sin was having persecuted and killed Christians.