Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Officials arrest five Christians in southern village in Laos

On March 25, officials in a village in southern Laos arrested and detained five Christians during worship and charged them with leading a religious movement without official approval, according to advocacy group Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom.

Compass Direct News reports that the five Christians from Palansai district were attending a worship service in nearby  Boukham village in Ad-Sapangthong district. The two men – Phosee and Viengsai – and three women – Alee, Poon, and Narm – had previously attended services in the area without interference from authorities.

Boukham church members meet in a private home, as do Christians in most other provincial villages. Officials strongly oppose small groups meeting outside the umbrella of the government-approved Lao Evangelical Church, but many Christians prefer meeting at house churches, citing strict controls over LEC activities.

"This is typical of Laos now," a pastor from the capital, Vientiane, said. "In Vientiane we see things opening up a little. But the law is fluid. Things can change from day to day, and the situation is still very difficult in the provinces."

You can help by praying!
  • Pray for the release of these believers. 
  • Ask the Lord to give them the strength to stand firm in their faith. 
  • Pray they will rely on the Lord to give them the words to say as they stand before authorities (Matthew 10:19). 
  • Pray that God will use them as a witness for the gospel even at this difficult time.
For more information on the persecuted Church in Laos, click here.

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