Cruel oppression increasing in Laos

By October 13, 2008

Laos (MNN) — Christianity is
labeled a "foreign religion" in Laos, so becoming a believer is considered near
treason.

Christians in Communist-ruled
Laos report escalating persecution. According to the World Evangelical
Alliance,
believers are dealing with more outright harassment and intimidation tactics.

The trend began in 2004 when
reports began to surface about the treatment believers received at the hands of
the government.

Some have been held at gunpoint and
forced to renounce their faith in Christ. The government has also put extensive restrictions on all religious
groups. While the government has worked
to improve their human rights record, the church is not yet free from
persecution.

Two believers and a pastor have
been handcuffed and in stocks since August for refusing to renounce their
faith. 32-year-old Pastor Sompong
Supatto and 18-year-olds, Boot and Khamvan Chanthaleuxay were taken from a
house church because they were practicing their faith.

They were officially arrested
August 3 for refusing to sign papers renouncing their faith. They had been
threatened several times previously but had continued to worship.

According to Compass Direct
reports, Pastor Supatto faces life
behind bars for leading the Boukham church. The teenagers will only be released when they renounce their
faith. Please pray their faith would be strong and that God would intervene. 

Pray for Christians who continue
to face pressure and imprisonment for their faith. Pray, too,  for the government of Laos, that those in
power will continue to improve policies and activities, recognizing need for
freedom for all their citizens.

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