Laos: Seven Christians Evicted From Their Homes for Refusing to Renounce Their Faith

October 16, 2020

Persecution of Christians in Laos: it is clear from incidents of this kind that the constitution of Laos’ protection of the freedom of religion is essentially a dead letter, widely ignored by authorities.

We have also seen this harassment by officials in Pakistan, China, India, and elsewhere. It places the Christians of Laos, and other countries where Christianity is considered alien, in a particularly precarious position, as the ones who should be protecting them are arrayed against them.

Please pray for all Christians in such a situation, that the Lord Jesus Christ would turn and transform the hearts of these anti-Christian authorities.

For more coverage of the persecution of Christians in Laos, see here.

“Seven Lao Christians Evicted From Their Homes for Refusing to Renounce Their Faith,” Radio Free Asia, October 13, 2020:

Seven Lao Christians in the country’s Saravan province have been thrown out of their homes for refusing to renounce their faith and are now living rough in the forest despite a national law protecting their free exercise of religion, Lao sources say.

The seven, who are members of two families in Pasing-Kang village in Saravan’s Ta-Oesy district, were evicted on Oct. 10, a local Christian told RFA’s Lao Service on Oct. 12.

“These seven Christians—including Thongvanh, Net, La, Liap, Ong, and Khane—are now living in a small hut in the forest,” RFA’s source said, adding, “They have no food or clothes and don’t know who they can turn to for help.”

The source, who spoke to RFA on condition of anonymity, said that other members of their church group are holding discussions among themselves and preparing to visit the evicted followers and provide them with assistance.

“Village authorities would not allow their relatives or other villagers to help them,” a second source said, adding that the evicted church members are now facing shortages of rice and other food, calling this their “primary need.”

“Second, they also need blankets,” he said. “And again, their own relatives are too afraid now of being evicted themselves to provide them with what they need.”…

A member of the Lao Evangelical Church said, however, that his church is closely monitoring the situation.

“We are trying to find a solution to this unfair treatment,” he said, adding that “it is sad to see” that Christians still being abused in Laos in spite of the passage last year of a national law protecting religious belief.

The Law on the Evangelical Church, approved and signed into law on Dec. 19, 2019, allows Lao Christians the right to conduct services and preach throughout the country and to maintain contacts with believers in other countries.

Lao churches must fund their own operations, however, and must obey other Lao laws, rules, and regulations….

Though improvements in religious freedom conditions were observed in Laos last year, cases of abuse were still seen in remote rural areas, the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said in a report released in May.

“In recent years, the number of people arrested or detained for their religious practices has decreased,” USCIRF said, adding that there were no reports in 2019 of central government authorities carrying out arrests, “although there were several cases at the local level.”…