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Laos: Christians Harassed, Arrested Despite ‘Improving’ Religious Freedom Conditions

Persecution of Christians in Laos: the constitution of Laos ostensibly protects the freedom of religion, as does this “updated law protecting religious activities.” Nonetheless, “Christian believers in Laos remain subject to harassment by local officials.”

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.

“Lao Christians Harassed, Arrested Despite ‘Improving’ Religious Freedom Conditions,” Radio Free Asia, May 7, 2020:

Christian believers in Laos remain subject to harassment by local officials in spite of an updated law protecting religious activities and constitutional guarantees of religious freedoms, sources in the one-party communist state say.

In Luang Prabang province in the country’s north, religious rights are still restricted, with officials deriding Christianity as an American import, one Christian villager told RFA’s Lao Service on Thursday.

“They say that in our village there is no Christian god, and that our ancestors were all animist,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity

“But you people believe in America’s god,” the source said he was told by one official, who added, “Don’t you remember what America did to our country?” in an apparent reference to widespread bombing carried out in Laos during the Vietnam War.

Christian villagers are also denied official help in response to complaints of wrongdoing, and are sometimes cheated out of their land, the source said.

“They say that Christians have no rights, and that no one will take care of them,” he said. “We even go to speak to the village leaders, but these are the same people who are already angry with Christians.”

Reached for comment, government officials in Luang Prabang and other provinces said that Lao Christians are protected by law and are treated no differently from the followers of other religions.

“Villagers can believe in any religion they want. Cousins, brothers, and sisters may live in the same village but follow different religions,” an official responsible for religious affairs in Luang Prabang told RFA.

“We have to limit certain activities, though, and we sometimes have to warn them that they can’t just do anything they want,” he said….

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