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Several Christians were recently attacked and killed in Xiengkhouang Province, Laos, underscoring the intense repression and abuse facing followers of Christ in the nation. On April 15, troops from the Lao People's Army caught a group of Christians belonging to the Hmong community, an ethnic minority. All of the believers' Bibles were confiscated. The troops shot and killed four of the women after repeatedly raping two of them. Their husbands and children were beaten, tied up and forced to witness the gruesome killings. At last report, the whereabouts of the surviving believers were unknown.

The absence of free press and lack of information infrastructure in Laos, a Communist state, often prevents news from reaching the outside world -- including that of religious freedom. This incident and other recent reports, however, indicate a disturbing increase of repression facing Christians in the country. Around last Christmas, authorities in Khammouan Province reportedly unlawfully detained 11 church leaders. Seven Christian families were also reportedly expelled by officials in Katin village, Salvan Province, earlier this year. Protestant Christianity and the Hmong Christian community, in particular, are seen by sections of the Lao society and the authorities as an American or imperialist "import" into the country and a threat to the Communist rule. As a result, believers are routinely expelled, forced to relocate, pressured to renounce their faith and arrested. Religious organizations and institutions have been allowed to function in Laos, but only as long as they remain under government surveillance and control.

Pray for comfort for all those mourning the loss of the four Christian women. Pray other believers will soon be returned home safely. Pray for the peace and strength of Christ to reign in the hearts and minds of Laotian Christians under pressure for their faith. Pray that the Laotian government will recognize the need for true freedom for all their citizens.

For a detailed report on the state of religious freedom in Laos, click here. You can learn more about the trials facing followers of Christ in Laos at the Laos Country Report.

Current Ministry Project

VOMC is working with an international partner to provide New Testaments to persecuted Christians, new believers, and those who are earnestly seeking Christ. We believe that the Word of God is a vital tool in combating persecution by helping believers grow in maturity to the fullness of Christ.

Project Fund: Bibles

Country Information

Population
7,574,356 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Lao (53.2), Khmou (11), Hmong (9.2), Phouthay (3.4), Tai (3.1), Makong (2.5), Katong (2.2), Lue (2), Akha (1.8), other (11.6)

Religion (%)
Buddhism (64.7), Christianity (1.7), none (31.4), unspecified (2.1)

Leader
President Thongloun Sisoulit (2021)

Government type
Communist state

Legal system
Civil law system similar in form to the French system

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Laos

Pray for strength and courage for Christians as they continue to face pressure and imprisonment for their faith.

Pray for the government of Laos -- that those in power will continue to improve policies and activities, recognizing the need for freedom for all their citizens.

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Laos News

  • Detained Pastor Confirmed Alive and Released
    Pastor Sithong - Photo: Radio Free Asia www.rfa.org
    Pastor Sithong at a wedding in 2018.
    Photo: Radio Free Asia

    On March 15th, 2020, Pastor Sithong Theppavong was approached by authorities who demanded that he agree to no longer hold worship services at a small church in Savannakhet Province, Laos (see this report). When Pastor Sithong refused, he wa

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  • Imprisoned Pastor's Family Facing Harassment
    A road in Laos - Pixabay / anniikaa

    Earlier in 2020, it was reported that Sithong Theppavong, the pastor of a small church in a farming area of Savannakhet Province, received repeated warnings to cease his ministry. On March 15th, 2020, he was arrested without any indication of charges. For more details on his arrest, visit VOMC's pr

    ...
  • Christians Forced to Flee Their Homes
    A forest in Laos - Photo: Pixabay

    Local authorities in the Laotian province of Salavan chased seven Christians from their homes, forcing them to live within makeshift huts in the woods, all because these believers refused to renounce their faith. The Christians were members of two families from the village of Pasing-Kang. Since thei

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  • Girl Facing Charges After Resisting Attack
    Nang Tookta Phetsomphone

    To date, Nang Tookta Phetsomphone has spent almost six months in a Laotian prison after her former employer was stabbed and killed during his attempt to rape the young woman. In order to be released from custody, her family must pay a fine of $11,000 USD and renounce their faith in Christ. Since our

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