Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Christians arrested and house church mee...

Email:

Christians arrested and house church meetings banned in Laos

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Christians arrested and house church meetings banned in Laos

Country/Region: South and East Asia, Lao, People's Democratic Republic

Christians in a Laotian village have been ordered to stop worshipping in private homes as several Christians were arrested in different parts of the country.

A pastor and three other Christians were arrested at a house church gathering in Sounya village in Namtha district of Luang Namtha province on 10 July. Pastor Seng Aroun, Souchiad, Naikwang and Kofa were charged with assembling for worship without approval. All but Pastor Aroun were released after three days.

lao-peoples-democratic-republic-4X3.jpg
Map showing the location of Lao Peoples Democratic Republic

They were holding a meeting in Kofa’s home; the Christians in Sounya normally hold their weekly Sunday services in another member’s house. The villagers have now been ordered to stop worshipping in private homes altogether.

Christians in Sounya village have faced persecution since the conversion of around 400 residents in 2002; they have been meeting in homes since the authorities destroyed their church building two years ago.

Faithful convert

Elsewhere, a Christian convert was arrested after he refused to renounce Christ and return to the traditional Lao religion of animism. Vong Veu remains in custody after being arrested on 10 July in Pookong village in the Viengkham district of Luang Prabang province. He was charged with embracing the Christian religion and asked to abandon his faith in order to prove his innocence, but he refused.

In another incident, church elder Abee Weng and three other Christians, Pachua, Bouleuvang and Kae, were arrested on 29 March while travelling back home to Luang Prabang city from Pookong village, where they had been invited by new believers there to help them grow in their faith.

The four were charged with “spreading foreign religion and eradicating Lao traditional religion”, but Pastor Weng insisted that they did not spread the Christian faith and were only guiding new converts. They were released after four days in prison.

Pastors jailed

Two pastors who were arrested in January for “gathering for the purpose of creating turbulent unrest” remain in custody in Khammouan Province. Pastor Wanna and a colleague were detained with eight other Christians including two children. Pastor Wanna, who leads a church in Nakoon village, has been repeatedly arrested and beaten for his Christian activities.

Bounchan Kanthavong, a pastor in Udomsai Province, is nearing the end of a 12 year prison sentence following his conversion to Christianity and preaching of the Gospel that resulted in around 70 people accepting Christ. He was arrested in 1999 and convicted of “treason and sedition” because he had been involved in leading Laotians to abandon the traditional animist faith and follow Christ; the Lao authorities consider Christianity to be a foreign religion and thus a threat to national unity.

Following Pastor Kanthavong’s detention, his wife Sengkham took over the leadership of their small Christian community; it has grown to more than 3,000 believers today. In April this year, the authorities told Pastor Kanthavong, a father of five, that they were willing to release him if he renounced Christ and separated from his wife.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Christians arrested and house church meetings banned in Laos

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • About 1,500 Christians staged a protest in Lahore, Pakistan in June 2014 over the grabbing of church-owned property by the government of Punjab. Over ten large properties, including a church, schools, hospitals and graveyards, have been taken. Christian leaders met with the Lahore District Coordination Officer on 15 June to demand the return of the latest school to be seized, but when they failed to get a positive response, Christian protestors took to the streets. Pray that the provincial government will respect the property rights of the churches. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 9 hours ago

    • Praise God that Pakistan’s Supreme Court has instructed the government to take specific steps to protect religious minorities from violence and intolerance. The ruling was issued partly in response to the deadly attack on All Saints Church in Peshawar in September 2013, which claimed over 100 lives. The court ordered the formation of a National Council for Minority Rights, a special police force to protect places of worship, and a taskforce to develop strategies to counter intolerance, along with further corrective measures. Campaigners for the rights of Christians in Pakistan welcomed the moves but expressed reservations about whether they would be implemented. Pray that the measures will achieve a tangible improvement in the condition of the country’s Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Loving Father, we cry out to You for the loved ones of ten Egyptian Christians who were murdered in Libya in February and March this year. We ask that You will bring your healing and peace to their families and friends and comfort their congregations in their loss. We pray for protection for Egyptian and other expatriate Christians in Libya and ask that their neighbours will not yield to requests by the militants to hand them over and get a reward in return. We pray that further Islamist attacks against Christians will be prevented and that the Libyan authorities will establish a greater measure of control over the country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Pray for Egyptian Christians who are leaving Libya in the face of growing violence against them. Many have gone there seeking work, but following the recent spate of killings, they are now fleeing. An Egyptian church leader has said that attacks and threats against Christians in the region are an attempt at “genocide”. Pray that what seems to be a targeted Islamist campaign to wipe Christians out of Libya will not succeed. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Aug 2014 00:00

    • A young Christian woman in Somalia was killed by a group of armed men who broke into her house in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, earlier this year. The assailants dragged her outside and shot at neighbours who tried to rescue her. Her parents were present when the attack took place. The Islamist group al-Shabaab has killed dozens of Christians since 2008, when it seized control of large parts of the country, and although it has now been driven from its strongholds, its deadly hostility to Christians is unrelenting. Pray for other Christian converts in Somalia as they face terror on every side (Psalm 31:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Aug 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks