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Laotian Church elder and congregation threatened with death

Modern Technology Exposes Lao Authorities

September 28, 2009

Village church and congregation

On Thursday, September 3, 2009, three Lao officials, one from the village of Liansai, the sub-district of Saybouthong, and sub-district Ad-Sapangthong, arrested Thao Oun, elder of the Boukham Church. They forced him at gunpoint to go to the police chief, Thao Somphet. There he was detained, interrogated, and terrorized for five to six hours. Thao Somphet demanded that he denounce Christianity or face deportation.

Police authorities further threatened Thao Oun that if news got out to the international community about this incident, they would put him to death.

For many years, the abuses inflicted upon Laotian citizens were rarely noted. Today, however, irregularities are being exposed around the globe because of cell phones. Towers that were built to accommodate the privileged also serve the common people, even in remote areas.

Today’s cell phones do so much – besides verbal communication, they take pictures, record voices, and can even make movies. All of these features can be downloaded to a computer, sent to various agencies via the internet (such as YouTube), or sent to individuals by email. This is one reason Christian Aid is able to give updated reports on countries such as Laos and Vietnam.

In a recorded conversation, police authorities were found saying that "a solution to their difficulties in governing could be the death of all believers in the Boukham Church."

For the time being, however, the punishment for choosing to exercise their religious freedom and following Christianity is:

  • Ten school-age children of the believers have been denied schooling.
  • Believers are denied access to the water supply in village wells.
  • Believers are denied all protection and rights provided by law.
  • Denial of public medical care for injured or sick believers.

The Boukham Church is one of the churches planted by a ministry supported through Christian Aid. Please pray for God’s protection, provision, and justice.

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