Area: 47,000 sq km
A small kingdom in the eastern Himalaya mountains.
Population: 708,484 Annual Growth: 1.74%
Official language: Dzongkha. Nepali is also widely used Languages: 35 All languages
Largest Religion: Buddhist
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The Tibetan/Himalayan peoples comprise the majority population, with the Bhutanese people cluster numbering 50% of the population. They are strongly Buddhist, and Christians among them number only a few hundred. These scattered believers are limited to small fellowships at best; most have faced varying degrees of persecution or social ostracism. Among the five largest peoples (Dzongkha, Tshangla, Lepcha, Kheng, Gurung), only the Lepcha have any significant Christian population. Pray for the emergence of a vital witnessing fellowship in every ethnic group of the Bhutanese.
The Nepali population has suffered what amounts to ethnic cleansing since 1990. The Buddhist Bhutanese majority has suppressed Nepali culture and language and even allowed violence against people and property in the course of expelling up to 150,000 Nepali Bhutanese. The vast majority of these huddle in meagre UN refugee camps in southeast Nepal, though some emigrate to Western nations. In these camps, several dozen informal Christian fellowships have formed among those who have found faith, and the number of believers is growing. Pray that the compassion of Jesus might be demonstrated to these displaced people.
For an additional 5 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Bhutan.