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Himalayan-hidden Drukpa people to be focus of prayer & fasting

Tuesday, April 10, 2001 | Tag Cloud Tags: , ,

April 10, 2001
By Jenny Rogers

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--Southern Baptists will unite their prayers for the Drukpa, an unreached people group in the remote South Asian country of Bhutan, from 6 p.m. Friday, June 1, through 6 p.m. Saturday, June 2, 2001.

For centuries, the Drukpa have carried on their customs and religious practices with little variation. Because of their isolation in the treacherous terrain of the Himalaya Mountains -- and their resistance to change -- the Drukpa are virtually untouched by the gospel.

Bhutan, the only country officially recognized as a Tibetan Buddhist kingdom, incorporates Buddhism into every aspect of life. Prayer flags, prayer wheels and fortress monasteries called "dzongs" are as much a part of the Bhutanese landscape as the rugged Himalayas.

Mixed with ancient folk practices of shamanism, magic, ancestor worship and divination, the religious landscape of Bhutan appears in fearsome symbols and faces of demons painted on houses.

Bhutanese leaders consider Christianity a threat to the preservation of their culture, and the few Christians in the country may be denied education and lose jobs and citizenship.

"[The Drukpa] are stuck in a cycle of deception," says "Nathaniel," a Christian familiar with the country whose name is changed to protect his identity. "The practices are very much akin to the occult, as there is so much superstition about everything -- when you can marry, even the right time to pay bills.

"The Bible says mountains will bow down before the Lord, and Bhutan is one of those mountains. Even though we don't know how God will bring it to pass, it is important that we pray for it to happen, because it is his heart that the Drukpa glorify him."

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