Hinduism and Islam

The minority religion of Bhutan is Hinduism, whose adherents– those of Nepalese origin–officially constitute 28 percent of the population. Despite Buddhism’s status as the state religion, Hindus had de facto freedom of religion. The Druk Gyalpo decreed major Hindu festivals as national holidays, and the royal family participated in them. An even smaller religious minority–about 5 percent of the population in 1989–practiced Islam. Although foreign religious personnel were permitted to work in Bhutan, primarily as educators, they were not allowed to proselytize.

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