Skip to comments.Pastor Sentenced to Three Years in Bhutan Prison
Posted on 03/22/2012 4:32:29 PM PDT by wmfights
The Bhutan High Court sentenced Gospel for Asia-supported missionary *Ugyen Tashi to three years in prison for attempting to promote civil unrest for showing a film about Jesus.
On May 21st, carrying a generator and a projector, Ugyen walked for two days into interior villages of Bhutan with a single purposeto give people a chance to learn about Jesus.
But when one of the village chiefs learned of the movies content, he informed the chief of his district, who then called the police to arrest Ugyen.
Investigations and Questionings
The days following the arrest were a whirlwind of investigations, questionings, postponements, police statements and waiting.
While police investigated his case, Pastor Ugyen was kept in a small, dark, mosquito-filled room along with three other inmates.
On June 14, the police attempted to search Pastor Ugyens house, but they were unable to enter because the house was locked.
In need of more information, the police sent a team to the villages where Ugyen showed the Jesus film to reinvestigate and conclude whether people were converted through the screening.
The police summoned the village chiefs and others present at the showing and asked them a series of questions concerning what happened the night of Ugyens arrest. Both Christians and non-Christians presented statements for Ugyens case.
Patiently Waiting and Sharing
Ugyens case eventually made its way to the district court as he patiently waited in his jail cell and continued to share the Good News with his fellow inmates, all the while enduring harsh living conditions, which aggravated his asthma.
Pastor Ugyen said he is not sitting idle, and though he is not able to share openly, he is making the best of every opportunity he is getting to share the Good News of Jesus, a GFA field correspondent reported. There are a few inmates who are interested.
When GFA leaders came to visit the prison, Ugyen asked for a supply of New Testaments to distribute to the inmates and encouraged his visitors not to worry about him.
The Court Process
On July 22, two months after Ugyens arrest, he was taken to court for the first phase of his hearingafter multiple postponements and cancellations.
GFA leaders had initially met with local officials to appeal for Ugyens release on bail, but the officials refused their petition because they considered Ugyens case very serious and a possible violation of Bhutans constitution, which states that No person shall be compelled to belong to another faith by means of coercion or inducement.
Ugyen was asked to write a statement for the court, but his first statement was considered insufficient. Nine times Ugyen rewrote his statement, paying $2.50 each time.
On August 17, the court presented all of Ugyens statements in the presence of the officials and asked Ugyen to screen the controversial film on the life of Jesus before the court the following day. Although it was reported that the court officials wanted to watch all the films Ugyen had shown before a final verdict was pronounced, the film was never shown.
Buthans constitution states that Buddhism is the spiritual heritage of Bhutan, which promotes the principles and values of peace, non-violence, compassion and tolerance, yet Christians have often been persecuted for their faith even though their constitutional right grants them freedom of religion as long as they werent compelled by coercion to convert to Christianity.
Please pray for Pastor Ugyen while he is in prison. Pray for his health, and that he will be able to effectively minister while hes behind bars. Pray also for the other believers living in Bhutan. Pray for their protection, strength to endure persecution, and discernment on how to share the Good News with those around them.
Pastor Ugyens timeline: ■May 21, 2010 Ugyen is arrested by Bhutan police for showing the Jesus film. Film equipment confiscated. ■June 4, 2010 The police summon the village chief and people who saw the film to give detailed information. Police give Ugyens case to Divisional Magistrate, who forwards the case to the District Magistrate for further investigation. ■June 9, 2010 Case forwarded to the district court. Ugyen awaits his first hearing. ■June 14, 2010 Police try to investigate Ugyens house but cant enter because the door is locked. ■June 15, 2010 Police go to villages where film was shown to reinvestigate. ■July 5, 2010 GFA leaders meet with officials to appeal for Ugyens release on bail. The petition is refused because of the gravity of the case. ■July 22, 2010 First phase of hearing scheduled for July 23 postponed until July 26. ■Aug. 4, 2010 Ugyen asked to write a statement. The statement is invalid, and he is asked to write another one. ■Aug 6, 2010 Ugyen has written nine statements thus far. He is questioned as to why he shared the Good News. Next court date set for Aug. 9. ■Aug. 9, 2010 Ugyens court date rescheduled for Aug. 17. ■Aug. 17, 2010 Pastor Ugyen taken to court and his statements are read before the court officials. Asked to appear before the court again on Aug. 18 to screen the Jesus film. ■Aug. 19, 2010 Pastor Ugyen asked to appear on Aug. 20 instead. ■Aug. 23, 2010 The district court forwards all of Pastor Ugyens statements and a report from the police and district court to the High Court in Thimphu for verification. Screening of Jesus film never takes place. ■Sept. 8, 2010 District court takes over case again. Court officials suggest Ugyen write an apology to the judge of the district court. ■Oct. 7, 2010 High Court sentences Ugyen to three years in prison.
Another "religion of peace" Buddhism.
Yes, Christianity does disturb the peace. Ephesus rioted when Paul preached and Demetrius couldn’t peddle his wares. Of course it also bring peace, but not to tyrants.
I found this on the Internet:
MARRIED TO BHUTAN: How One Woman Got Lost, Said "I Do," and Found Bliss (Hay House, 2011) Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Linda Leaming was the only American living in Bhutan for ten years. Her work has appeared in Ladies' Home Journal, Mandala Magazine, Guardian U.K., A Women's Asia (Travelers' Tales, 2005), and many other publications. Eric Weiner included her in his bestseller, The Geography of Bliss. She has an M.F.A. in fiction from the University of Arizona, and she regularly speaks about Bhutan at colleges, churches, seminars, and book groups. Her Bhutanese husband is a thanka painter, who has exhibited his paintings in numerous galleries in the U.S., from New York to Idaho, and his work has been collected by individuals and museums all over the world.
There will be zones created in the USA where Christian evangelism is forbidden either by law or by public policy . . . . or . . . .
Christian evangelsists preaching, distributing Gospel literature, or showing films in these (perhaps they will be called) "Special Religious Heritage Districts or Zones" will be arrested for disturbing the peace, inciting violence, "offending [the] religious feelings [of . . . . ] (like the statutes in the Philippines actually state ; I have personal experience there with it), or a variety of other anti-First Amendment charges.
No, not in Bhutan or Kampuchea, but right in the USA --- it will happen --- because professing Christians in general have surrendered the Christian heritage of the United States, which has always included public evangelistic efforts. But now, in America, Bible-believing preachers who preach the Gospel in the streets are considered by authorities as an anomaly, a novelty, a peculiarity.
In agreement... BTTT..
Thank you for posting this important news.
It started in the school systems with the creation of a PC culture.
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