District court slaps three-year jail tern for promoting Christianity


A Christianity promoter has been sentenced to three years’ prison by Gelephug District court last week charging him for attempting to promote civil unrest.

Prem Singh Gurung from Tarithang was arrested on May 21 as he was found screening movies on Christianity in Simkharkha and Gonggaon, two remote villages in Bhutan.

Prem Sing has been accused of screening Christian movies unlike his commitment to the villagers to showing them the nepali movies.

Gelephu police filed the case on July 23 and charged him for the promotion of civil unrest, and violation of sections 105(1) and 110 of Bhutan information, communication and media act, which says that a producer or owner or importer of any film, which is intended for public exhibition by any mode of information and communication technology or media within Bhutan, shall submit the film for examination; and failure to comply with the requirement shall be an offence.

None of the concerned authorities commented on the case and the verdict.

interestingly, although the country has termed it  ” secular”, people’s right to exercise their religious practices still seem snatched by the government.


  1. This is a serious breach of democratic rights of a Bhutanese citizen. A court in a democratic society is expected to defend the rights of a citizen and not to violate them. The act of screening a film can’t be cited as as an act of inciting civil unrest. The judges in the Bhutanese courts need training in human rights and how to defend them. JT should tell the world if it is part of GNH not to allow people to view religious films. Today they have disallowed Christian film tomorrow they will ban Hindu religious films.

  2. well the accused has definitely tried to cheat the innocent nepali speaking people and treid to take undue advantage of their innocence. The writer needs to understand the word secular and the peoples rights. He definitely has no right to infringe on someone’s way of life and beliefs. HE was lucky that he was screening in Bhutan. If it was in some other country he would have come in bodybag. People should choose their own religion and beliefs. Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world. we are proud of our religion and no harm intended though.

  3. Yes,
    It is crystal clear how the general people are allowed to exercise their religious rights. This is how we were treated too when we tried to celebrate our festivals in the late 80s and early 90s in Bhutan.

    This is not a new practise in Bhutan, it has come along some centuries ever since……….

    Now what more does the international community need to understand, when some groups of the people do not enjoy the religious freedom.

    Is this what the RGOB meant, what is Gross National Happiness?

    UN should teach Bhutan, a very good defination of GNH.

  4. It is crystal clear that people in Bhutan do not have religious freedom. Until a few years ago the country did not have any written penal code or any system to defend an accused. Screening of a film on Jesus whom all religious leaders accept as a messiah will create community unrest ? I have had several opportunity to visit Bhutan as head of a newspaper and can emphasise that the King, especially the fourth whom I know personally would never support this verdict.