By Open Doors 29 August 2023 1 MIN

Laos | Persecution Worsens

Laos: Persecution worsens as Christians are targeted

Laos is #31 on the World Watch List 2023. Most church gatherings are illegal, and Christians are viewed with suspicion. Open Doors has recently seen an increase in opportunistic attacks and arrests on Christians from authorities and members of the public.

Church Leaders Imprisoned

Dham* and Khanh*, two church leaders from southern Laos, were reported missing after attending a church event in early May this year.

“The two church leaders went to a neighbouring church to visit new believers, where they preached during their service and officiated the baptism of six new believers,” shares Nayomi*, an Open Doors local partner.

She added, “On their way home, police officers stopped them, and they were interrogated. The church leaders said they were just visiting their relatives, but the police took their phones and saw the pictures of the baptism. They were immediately arrested and sent to prison. The leaders assume that someone tipped the police that they were visiting believers.

“We have been helping the family with their expenses so they can visit the leaders in prison. We also provide them with necessities such as food and water whenever they visit them,” Nayomi said.​​​​​​​

Amidst this prolonged conflict, a disturbing video recorded on 4 May circulated around the country on 19 July. The video captured the plight of two Kuki-Zo Christian women who were paraded naked and sexually assaulted by Meitei men during the violence in May. This caught the attention of the public, prompting the global community to acknowledge the reality and significance of the issue.  

Please pray:

  • For the immediate release of Dham and Khanh from imprisonment. For comfort and strengthening of their faith while they are still inside. 
  • For our local partners to continue to be there for the imprisoned believers and their families—providing them with not just practical support but also emotional and spiritual encouragement.

Families Harassed

Our local partners have become increasingly aware of attacks on Christian homes by neighbours and local communities.

When Leokham* and his wife became Christians early this year, their community immediately became hostile toward him and his family. They were ridiculed and threatened because of their newfound faith.

One night, as they were sleeping, members of their community surrounded their home and began throwing large stones through windows into the house, damaging belongings. This did not only happen once; it came to a point when they had to move around the house looking for a spot where the stones wouldn’t hit or reach them. 

Please pray:

  • Pray for provision for Leokham and their respective families. 
  • Pray for the strengthening of their faith despite every trial or challenge that they face in life. 
  • Pray for their neighbours and communities to encounter God in a personal way. 

*Names changed for security reasons. 
Stay updated with the latest prayer requests from the persecuted church.

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