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Recognition of religion or belief in Bhutan

According to the SRR, conditions for RoRB in the Kingdom of Bhutan are classified restrictive.

Recognition of religion or belief in Bhutan


  • Mahayana Buddhism is the state religion.

  • Recognition and registration are amalgamated in Bhutan for all non-Mahayana Buddhist groups; this means that no belief system other than Mahayana Buddhism is able to achieve existential recognition as only legal registration is available for non-Mahayana organisations.

  • Excessive requirements for applicants.

  • The broad bylaws allow the government significant scope to apply them unfairly to groups whose beliefs and practices it may not agree with or find to be in harmony with “the spiritual heritage” of the country. The creation of ambitious bylaws in this way most often leads either to their widespread misuse or their misuse in isolated incidents in targeting certain groups.

  • The rule of mandatory registration contravenes the Bielefeldt provision.

  • Intrusive informational requirements demonstrate further divergence from acceptable approaches to religious activity.

  • Partial recognition is applied, meaning that only a degree or inferior form of recognition is bestowed to belief systems and their derivatives other than Mahayana Buddhism.

Positive elements:

  • Nil.


  • Dissolve aspects of the recognition system that have been established to restrict registration.

  • Establish a more receptive approach towards non-Buddhist denominations.

RoRB Topic
RoRB Compliance
RoRB Classification
Country or territory
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