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Seven Christian leaders arrested during a church service last December in Boukham village in Laos were unconditionally released on January 12. The village chief had ordered authorities to raid the Christmas service on December 16, 2011, even though freedom of religion is guaranteed in the Lao constitution (for more information on the raid, click here).

The seven leaders were held without being charged until December 30. Since authorities were unable to charge the pastors with violating a religion law, they eventually charged them with violating the village's "hiit," the traditional spirit cult. The Christians were fined the equivalent of 35 times the average monthly wage. International human rights organizations had exerted pressure on authorities to release the imprisoned Christians, and the families of those arrested filed complaints against the village authorities shortly before they were released.

Praise God for the release of these bold followers and thank Him for their safety while in custody. Please pray that these believers will not be subjected to any further persecution. Pray that their steadfastness would strengthen the faith of other Christians in Laos.

For more on the trials Christians face in Laos, go to 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.

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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
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    Photo: Radio Free Asia

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  • Imprisoned Pastor's Family Facing Harassment
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  • Christians Forced to Flee Their Homes
    A forest in Laos - Photo: Pixabay

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