Laotian believers come under fire.

By January 12, 2004

Laos (MNN)–It’s OK to shoot at people as long as they’re Christians,” seems to be the sentiment of Lao officials, according to a report received by Christian Aid Mission.

Six women and children arrived in the city of Pakse in southern Laos last week after being threatened in their home village in Attapue province because of their Christian faith.

The village chiefs reportedly fined the Christians
150,000 kips (US$20 – about a months’ wage) for believing in Christ and demanded they renounce their Christian faith. If they did so, they could still remain in their village. Those who did not renounce their faith could be shot at.

Two families decided to leave, having endured the fire of persecution for many months. “The situation is getting very unstable and dangerous,” two of them said.

Their flight followed on the heels of raids on Christians in at least four other places in Attapue province in recent days. On December 27 police arrested six believers gathered for worship in Kang village and another Christian in Somsouk village. On December 28 authorities arrested three believers in Donphai village while conducting worship in their homes and another believer in Sanamsai City. Their only “crime” was believing on and worshiping Christ.

According to reports, in every instance the arrests were conducted by provincial and district religious affairs officials, provincial and district police officials, and a village chief of each village. Bibles were also confiscated during the arrests.

Other Christian leaders and believers are allegedly being sought by authorities and remain in hiding. Some reportedly have walked over 60 miles (100 km.) to avoid arrest.

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