The constitution of Laos ostensibly protects the freedom of religion. Nonetheless, Christians in Laos remain subject to harassment by people hostile to the faith, as well as local officials.
For more ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Laos, see here.
“Christian families’ homes destroyed in southern Laos,” Radio Free Asia, November 30, 2023:
The homes of 10 Christian families were recently destroyed by local authorities and nearby residents, the latest instance of religious harassment in southern Laos.
The families were driven from three villages in Saravan Province’s Samoey District about two months ago, according to some fellow Christians and officials.
District authorities eventually arranged for new land for the families in one of the villages where they could rebuild their homes, but no compensation or financial assistance has been provided, the sources told Radio Free Asia.
“Now, the authorities have put them together in one place separated from the other villages,” a Christian who has been assisting the families with the resettlement said.
“Our brothers and sisters have to build their own new homes,” he told RFA on Wednesday on condition of anonymity; “They can’t be on their feet yet. They don’t have much money.”
Even though Laos has a national law protecting the free exercise of faith, similar assaults on Christians have become common in the one-party communist state with a mostly Buddhist population.
In Saravane province, 15 Christians from seven families were evicted from villages between 2020 and 2021.
Earlier this year, 15 families and a pastor were forced to leave Mai village in northwestern Luang Namtha because of their Christian beliefs.
The village is home to many members of the Ahka minority, which has its own spiritual beliefs. But when 15 families in the village converted to Christianity, their neighbors banded together and chased them out of town.
‘Religion of foreigners’
A Christian in a different village in southern Laos said he was told to leave by security guards.
“They don’t want us to live with them,” he said. “We can’t organize any ceremony like a wedding. We’re not allowed to get together or set up loudspeakers.”
A Christian pastor in northern Laos told RFA that some villagers think Christianity is a threat to their community because it’s “the religion of foreigners.”…