Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Bhutan: persecuted Christians, prospect of religious freedom

Catholic World News - April 18, 2011

The landlocked nation of Bhutan, where Christians face the demolition of their homes and other acts of persecution, may soon recognize religious freedom, according to an Indian archbishop.

Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil of Guwahati, a nearby Indian diocese, told the Fides news agency that Christians are allowed to worship in private but are not permitted to give public witness to their faith. Conversions are forbidden. Only 1,000 of the nation’s 2.6 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics, and Indian priests visit periodically to offer Mass. Estimates of the number of Christians in the nation run as high as 100,000.

“I would say that they are just like the first Christians who gathered in the catacombs,” said Archbishop Menamparampil. “I met and encouraged them to preserve their faith.”

“The Christian citizens do not get a job or a promotion or admission to higher education, only for their faith,” he added. “Sometimes to penalize the community, electricity may be cut off, or [the] water supply may be stopped and houses demolished. However, I did not find any of the Christians discouraged or over-worried about these episodes: they have lived harder times.”

“The authorities are introducing more liberal measures step by step,” he continued. “Christians hope to be allowed to build places of worship in due time, but they will need to be cautious and not alarm the lobby of the Buddhist monks, who are very powerful on the government.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($17,705 to go):
$35,000.00 $17,295.48
51% 49%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Round Trip to the present moment: a Catholic jazz artist's latest offering April 22
Easter with the Pope April 21
Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20