Official Beats Christian Pastor in Buddhist Bhutan

Religion Today

Official Beats Christian Pastor in Buddhist Bhutan


A government official on Tuesday beat and threatened to kill a Christian pastor in the tiny Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, located between India and China, the Christian Post reports. Pema Wangda, a sub-divisional officer, hit pastor Pema Sherpa on his forehead and chest, and also took out a local sword and threatened to kill him. Sherpa was among four pastors the official had summoned to ask them not to conduct worship services in their homes. Wangda attacked Sherpa after the three others had left. "[Wangda] said he would send the pastor to jail, and called police," a friend of Sherpa's said. "The pastor said he was willing to go to jail, but police eventually didn't detain him." Of the just-under 700,000 people in Bhutan, around 75 percent are Buddhist and a little over 20 percent are Hindu. Christians, who are yet to be recognized legally in the country, are estimated to number around 12,000. The government does not allow Christians to construct church buildings, though Christians are generally allowed to meet within their homes.

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