Laos (MNN/CAM) — A 45-year-old widow in Laos was sharing Jesus with her village — and paid for it with her freedom.
Christian Aid Mission says Rina* began following Christ after police came to her Prai tribal village and announced on loudspeakers that they were banned from worshipping the Christian God. The Prai people in Laos are animist and worship nature gods.
Rina was intrigued and wanted to know more, so she sought out two local missionaries at their home. The missionaries shared the Gospel with Rina. When she prayed to follow Jesus, she was also healed from a chronic bacterial illness!
From that moment, Rina began sharing her new faith with her village, and many others embraced Christ as their Savior.
A district official eventually heard about the surge of Christianity in the village. He came with soldiers and police and ordered all believers to renounce their faith. Every person refused.
The official then demanded to know who the first person was to become a Christian. A local ministry leader says Rina came forward and she was placed under house arrest.
That was eight months ago. Rina is still under house arrest today.
In Laos, a 2016 decree empowered the Ministry of Home Affairs to stop any religious activities contrary to policies, “traditional customs,” laws, or regulations. However, much persecution of Christians in Laos is carried out by local officials acting outside of the law and the constitution, which guarantees religious freedom.
About 60 percent of Laos’ population is Buddhist and 32 percent animist, with animism also finding its way into Buddhists’ beliefs and practices.
In spite of cultural and official opposition, Christian Aid Mission says workers with a native ministry planted 16 house churches during a recent six month span, and 1,213 people put their faith in Christ.
Many of these people came to faith in response to live Gospel messages on Facebook, recorded messages on MP3 players, ministry seminars, and evangelistic outreaches in both cities and rural areas.
Local missionaries are forming disciples and aiding the persecuted throughout the country. Please consider a donation to Christian Aid Mission today to help them bring Christ’s love to the lost.
Pray for Rina’s spiritual encouragement and freedom. Ask the Lord to use her witness to lead many more people in Laos to Christ.
*Name changed for security purposes.