Laos is a Communist state with a large Bhuddhist and Animist population. Laos is extremely technologically remote and comprised mostly of mountainous terrain and forests. Geologically, it is landlocked and surrounded by other Bhuddhist and Communist countries, making asylum-seeking difficult for any who try to leave the country. Although their constitution allows for religious freedom, the practice of it is not established. According to Open Doors, citing the World Watch List:
In 2010, 29 Christians were killed and at least 20 were arrested and held without trial. A number of churches were destroyed. In January 2010, 11 Christian families were forced out of their villages into the forest when they refused to recant their faith.
Yet the church there is growing. There are approximately 200,000 Christians out of a population of 6.4 million. Laos is ranked 12th on the List.
The following is a transcription of a report of the Persecution Podcast from Voice of the Martyrs, which is available through iTunes.
On September 11th three Laotian pastors and two other christian leaders were arrested by district police. The three pastors were bound with chains and sent to the Phin district prison while the two others were turned over to provincial leaders and released two days later. The three pastors are enduring harsh conditions in prison, all remain in handcuffs, and one is in stocks, bound by the ankles. District police have visited the pastors’ homes and churches asking members where their churches obtain funds, why they became Christians and whom the pastors have led to Christ. All three pastors remain in prison and two are seriously ill. Pray that God will grant these pastors strength and endurance. Pray that authorities will provide them with needed medical treatment.
Laos is also the home of 17-year-old Phum, a Kmu girl whose story is detailed in a previous post.
I would add to the above prayer that the Lord would act as Yahweh Rophe and be the personal Healer of these faithful pastors, that He would be their El Roi, the God Who Sees them in their distress, and their Maon, their Dwelling Place while they are in the prisons of their worldly government. Pray that Jesus would be among them as He was with Hananiah, Meshael, and Azariah in the fiery furnace.
Pray for their quick release from prison and their peaceful return to their health and families. Pray for safe travel on the road as they make their return journey and for fresh anointing as they resume service in their churches. Pray for boldness among their church members, especially their family members, and for ever-strengthening faith in the Almighty.
For more true stories of persecution and hope in Laos, click on the video below and view others like it on VOM USA’s YouTube channel.