Christian in South Asian Country Sentenced to Prison for “Attempting to Promote Civil Unrest” by Screening Pro-Christianity Movies

From Kuensel Online (“Bhutan’s daily news site”):

Gelephu dungkhag court sentenced last week a 40-year old man to three years in prison for attempting to promote civil unrest.

Prem Singh Gurung from Tarithang was arrested on May 21, after villagers in Gonggaon and Simkharkha of Jigmecholing gewog complained that he was screening movies on Christianity in the two villages….

Kuensel sources said that Prem Singh Gurung invited the villagers, saying that he would be screening Nepali movies, but in between he would show movies on Christianity….

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….

Charisma (apparently an evangelical Christian news and opinion site) has more details, and mentions that

It is also estimated that around 6,000 Bhutanese, mostly from south, are Christian in this landlocked nation between India and China. However, their presence is not officially acknowledged in the country. As a result, they practice their faith from the confines of their homes, with no Christian institution officially registered.

Buddhism is the state religion in Bhutan, and the government is mandated to protect its culture and religion according to the 2008 constitution….

An absolute monarchy for over 100 years, Bhutan became a democratic, constitutional monarchy in March 2008 ….

Thanks to Prof. Howard Friedman (Religion Clause) for the pointer.