News

Persecution Continues for Laotian Believers

August 7, 2009

Typical rural village in Laos where Christians live. Despite what the Constitution of Laos decrees, small villages are subject to the tyranny of their local authorities.

The Laotian Constitution states: Lao citizens have the right and freedom to believe or not to believe in religions. Yet Christian believers´ rights were once again violated by local officials of Katin Village in the Ta-Oyl District of Saravan Province.

One day in July 2009, the village chief, volunteer security force, village elders, and some villagers of Katin Village in Ta-Oyl District of Saravan Province, Laos, broke into the pig pens of new believers and confiscated a pig from nine families (53 members) after the believers returned home from fellowship meetings.

A ministry assisted through Christian Aid wrote to say, "Not very long ago our ministry team provided Bibles and ministry training for the Christian leaders from Katin Village. When they returned to their village, they were able to lead nine new families to Christ."

Many Christians raise pigs for profit. One pig represents 1.5 months income for a Laotian villager.

Village officials stated that the seizure of the pigs was a form of punishment imposed on the nine families who had ignored their order forbidding them from believing in the Christian faith. By choosing to exercise their constitutionally-guaranteed freedom to believe in God and practice their faith, each of the nine Lao families suffered the economic loss of a pig, which is the equivalent of one and one-half months of salary for one working person.

This action appears to be the follow-up of an incident that happen 10 months ago, when Katin village authorities confiscated the water buffalo of Mr. Boonchu (a Christian believer). At that time, authorities told Mr. Boonchu that if he and his family recanted their Christian faith, the buffalo would be spared. When Mr. Boonchu refused, they took his buffalo to the village square and slaughtered it. The meat was distributed to all non-Christians in the village. They warned them that they would seize the animals of Christians who refused to renounce their faith, until there were no more animals.

The ministry leader, Prasertsee, specifically asked for prayer for the following families: Thao Ee, three members; Mae Pan, seven members; Por Puey, ten members; Mae Yong, five members; Nang Mun, six members; Por Noy, five members; Por Lop, eight members; Mae Bai, four members; and Mae Yiew, five members.


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