Published: 00:01 GMT Standard Time - Thursday 15 March 2012
Lent Prayer - Laos
Country/Region: South and East Asia, Lao, People's Democratic Republic
Pastor Seng Aroun and three other Christians were arrested at a house church gathering in the Luang Namtha province of Laos on 10 July 2011. They were charged with assembling for worship without approval, and the local villagers were ordered to stop worshipping in private homes. They have faced persecution since around 400 residents became Christians in 2002, and they have been meeting in homes since the authorities destroyed their building two years ago.
|The National Assembly building in Laos. The government controls or interferes in many Christian activities|
The churches of Laos operate in a challenging context. They are a very small minority (only some 2-3%) and are acutely mistrusted by the Communist authorities, who regard Christianity as a Western import. This suspicion leads to various kinds of intolerance, repression and harassment.
The government controls or interferes in many of the churches’ activities. They are subject to restrictions in their worship and evangelism, in the construction and use of church buildings, and in the importing and distribution of Christian literature. Only certain Christian denominations are recognised by the government, and independent congregations are subject to more severe limitations than the official churches.
Intense and brutal persecution of Christians may be initiated at local levels, and rural churches are particularly vulnerable. In some places Christians are threatened with expulsion from their villages, lose their livestock or land, or are denied access to education and medical care.
Sometimes they are arrested and detained on false charges and may face harsh treatment in prison. Some local people join in attacking them, though others are sympathetic.
In 2010 about 65 Christians from Katin village in Saravan province were forced from their homes and told they could return only if they abandoned their beliefs. They have been living on the edge of the jungle ever since, vulnerable and living mainly on roots, as they are mostly farmers and unable to hunt.
Barnabas Aid projects include:
- Laos General Fund (Ref. 90-740)
This article is taken from
“Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2012” -.