Christians are a small minority in Bhutan and are frequently persecuted by the Buddhist majority. Just 2% of Christian pastors have been trained to teach the Bible and restrictions by the Bhutanese government mean that bible teachers from abroad are not allowed into the country to train local pastors or lead churches themselves.
NIBT runs training workshops near the India-Bhutan border, enabling Bhutanese pastors to be trained up for their role of leading the Church. At the most recent workshop, heavy rain and landslides made travelling across the border nearly impossible. Out of the 18 pastors who were expected, only one made it. He travelled 34 hours to reach the venue and had to walk more than eight hours in some places, because no transport was available.
At the end of the workshop this pastor, Ram, said, “I have never attended any training programme like this before. After attending this workshop, I now understand how to study the Bible. This is what I and other Bhutanese pastors are looking for - simple, clear and workable skills of bible interpretation.”
The next NIBT workshop on the India-Bhutan border is planned for February 2017.