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Christians in Bhutan Released from Prison

You are free to disseminate the following news. We request that you reference ICC (International Christian Concern) and include our web address www.persecution.org.

Contact: Jeff King, President, 301-989-1708, icc@persecution.org

WASHINGTON, July 31 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.persecution.org has just learned that the two Christians who had been imprisoned in Bhutan on charges of proselytism have been released.

ICC was told by Christians inside the country on Saturday, July 29, that the two men had been released and reunited with their families.

“Benjamin” (Budhu Mani Dungana) and “John” (Purna Bahadhur Tamang) were arrested on January 7, 2006, in the small town of Paro after sharing the gospel with a non-Christian family. ICC was informed of their situation earlier in the year but was asked to keep quiet while Christians inside the country exhausted all avenues of appeal. After ICC heard that their prison sentences had been decided, we sent out a press release and worked behind the scenes in conjunction with The Jubilee Campaign to put pressure on the government of Bhutan to free these men.

Jeremy Sewall, ICC’s Regional Policy Analyst for South Asia, stated, “We wish to thank everyone who prayed for these men and contacted government officials to ask for their release. This is incredibly good news, but please continue to pray for Benjamin and John as they rebuild their lives after being in prison for seven months.”

In addition, he added, “Please keep the kingdom of Bhutan in your prayers, as government officials there continue to struggle with wanting to allow more freedom but also fearing that they will lose their identity to western culture. Pray that they will find that religious freedom is a universal right and not a Western right.”