Bhutan is about 75 percent Buddhist. Some 25 percent of the country are Nepalese, traditionally Hindu, and their presence and religion are recognized in law. Strict laws against proselytizing have made it difficult for Christianity to gain a foothold.
   As early as 1892, the Scandinavian Alliance Mission began working among Bhutanese who resided or did business in indian communities just across the Bhutanese border. Then, early in the 20th century, the Church of Scotland founded several schools in Bhutan. Those schools are now maintained by the Church of North India (into which the Church of Scotland's Indian mission merged). The Church of North India is the only Christian church with personnel living and working in Bhutan.
   The work among Bhutanese in the border communities has yet to show much visible result. Several Christian congregations have appeared in the Nepalese section of the country.
   See also Asia; India; Nepal.
   Further reading:
   ■ David Barrett, The Encyclopedia of World Christianity, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001)
   ■ Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk, Operation World, 21st Century Edition (Carlisle, Cumbria, U.K.: Paternoster, 2001).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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