Cleveland, Tennessee — At the initial staff and personnel meeting of Church of God World Missions for 2018, International World Missions Director Dr. David M. Griffis officially announced the addition of Bhutan to the countries where the Church of God now has an established presence.
Bhutan, known also as the Kingdom of Bhutan-Druk Yul, is located in the eastern Himalaya Mountains. The population is expected to be at 819,781 by the year 2020. The national language is Bhutanese, one of 53 languages in the Tibetan language family. An interesting fact about the Bhutan culture is that inheritance generally passes through the female rather than the male line. A man is expected to make his own way in the world.
Vajrayana Buddhism is the state religion. Other religions are barely tolerated foreign intrusions. Proselytism and incitement to convert are illegal.
“Church buildings are not allowed, and Christians are not privy to many of the state benefits available to Buddhists, such as free education,” Griffis stated. “Bhutan is one of the world’s least evangelized nations. Yet, somehow, as God always does, there is a Church of God witness in Bhutan.”
Until 1999 when the government lifted a ban on television and the Internet, Bhutan was one of the last countries to introduce television, keeping its exposure to the outside world to a minimum.
Church of God World Missions began more than 100 years ago when the first Church of God missionaries touched ground in the Bahamas. With the addition of Bhutan the number of countries where the Church of God now has a presence totals 184.
(Source: Church of God World Missions)