By Open Doors 6 October 2020

 Christians Forced Into Re-Education Training

In less than one month, in a small region of Laos, three believers have been taken by authorities.

One of them, pastor and father of five, Saengchan*, was arrested when he refused to follow the village chief’s order to leave his Christian faith.

When Saengchan persisted in sharing the gospel, the chief informed authorities who soon apprehended and detained him.

To be a Christian in Laos is seen as a betrayal of the community. Those who choose to follow Jesus are not only rejected by their village and family, but are heavily monitored, or in extreme cases, detained by authorities. Re-education is often masked as “training” to force believers to accept and integrate back into traditional Buddhist communities.

A police officer reported: “We are not going to put (Saengchan) in jail yet. We are taking him to the police station. We want to educate him on how to be in unity and build relationships with his neighbours. He will be trained for at least three to six months before we release him.”

Siblings Sithat* and Sombaht* were also arrested in a similar manner.

Local partners report that authorities are using the three arrests to further threaten other believers in the area, infiltrating house churches and confiscating Bibles.

Since the arrests, the families of the three detainees have received food, clothes and money to sustain themselves from Open Doors’ local partners.

As arrests continue across the country, please pray for Laos.

Pray For Laos:

  • Pray for safety and security of Saengchan, and the two other believers who are still held by authorities.
  • Pray the three men will remain close to God and continue to draw near to him even in the face of persecution.
  • Pray local authorities will come to know the love of Christ themselves and personally experience a revelation of His grace.

*Names changed for security purposes.

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