By Emily Watt | 19 February 2020
Laos | House Church Leader Beaten and Harassed
Tou*, a house church leader in northern Laos, is no stranger to threats and attacks. His neighbours burned his barn, destroyed his tractor and tore down the roof of his house because of Tou’s faith in Jesus.
In Laos, one of the world’s poorest countries, choosing to not participate in Buddhist or tribal animist beliefs is seen as a betrayal of family and community. Christianity is seen as a threat to the government, and they closely monitor all religious activity.
House churches are often forced to operate illegally and in secret, as all gatherings must receive approval from the government.
In a village like Tou’s, leading a house church is seen as a hostile act against the community.
Tou attracted the attention of the village elders when he tried to arrange a Christian burial for a relative of one of his church members.
When the elders learned that a Christianity ceremony had been planned, they warned Tou and his family not to go through with it. But Tou would not let Jesus be erased from the picture and went ahead as planned.
At the ceremony, other villagers arrived and began to beat the believers, including Tou, his wife and their children, telling them, “Christianity has no meaning and Christians are useless.”
Though Tou reported the attack to the village chief, his case was ignored.
“I have never had peace in my village because the local authorities and community persecute me,” Tou said. “They are opposed to my beliefs.”
Despite this, Tou and his family are not giving in to pressure. They continue to live out the gospel, sharing Jesus and following Him, no matter the cost.
*Name changed for security purposes.
Pray For Laos:
Praise God that despite the attacks, nobody has been seriously injured.
Pray that the Lord will protect every believer in Tou’s village and convict them to hold onto Him in every circumstance.
Pray that Christians will have a strong faith and the boldness to reach out with love and forgiveness to those who persecute them.
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