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Laotian christians pray for victory over forces of darkness in Laos.

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Christians pray for victory over forces of darkness in Laos, where political, religious and societal powers oppress Christians. Making up slightly more than 3 percent of the population of the communist country, Christians face hostilities from Buddhists and animists, often a syncretistic mix of the two. Local officials uphold the status quo; in Khounkham District in Khammouane Province, five policemen in Nong-hang village on Sept. 2 arrested two men for spreading the Christian faith. Bountheung Phetsomphone, a Christian leader from another province, was visiting a Christian identified only as Neuy, and a Christian family invited them to their home to encourage and prayer for them. As they were eating lunch with the host family, the officers stormed in, arrested the two visitors and incarcerated them at Khounkham District prison. Both Christians are married, and each has three children. An indigenous ministry group assisted by Christian Aid Mission advocated for their release, and they were freed on Sept. 12. (File Photo)

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