Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Sunday, December 15th, 2013
Newly converted Christians in Laos are once again facing pressure to give up their faith or abandon their homes in what has become a recurring pattern in rural parts of the country. Village leaders warned five families on Dec. 2 that had recently converted to Christianity that their new faith was not welcome and that they would be held responsible for any deaths in the village, since their new faith "violates the village's longstanding beliefs and customs in the spirits." The five families, living in Savannakhet Province, also received an eviction notice.
Friday, November 15th, 2013
Earlier this year in rural Laos more than 150 villagers came to Christ through the work of Christian evangelists. Shortly after this three villagers died of various causes. A local witch doctor blamed the new religion that had come to the villages and said the Christians must either renounce their faith or leave the villages, lest more people die. Angry village leaders held a meeting with police and army present, demanding the new believers renounce their faith and forcing the Christians to pay for the travel expenses of the authorities to the village and the funerals of all three who passed away. Laos is one of the five remaining Communist nations on earth and Christians in rural areas often come under pressure from village chiefs to renounce their faith.
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
In a remote part of the world rarely noticed by the international media, a slow but steady struggle is underway. Small communities of Christian adherents tucked away in the jungles and mountains of Communist Laos are fighting a very real, if unheard of, battle. They are fighting for the right to believe.
Friday, September 27th, 2013
Across rural areas of Laos reports are coming in of Christian communities being pressure to give up their new found faith in Christ. Those who refuse are threatened with forced eviction from their homes. Animism, or the worship of the natural world, is a traditional belief system for many villages in Laos. Last year report also emerged of Christian community leaders being arrested and held in stockades, despite the fact that the Lao constitution guarantees religious freedom. Laos is one of five remaining Communist nations on earth today.
Saturday, September 7th, 2013
As one of the five remaining Communist nations on earth, Laos continues to treat religious minorities with contempt. In rural areas Christians, especially newly-converted Christians, face intimidation and harassment at the hands of local authorities. Late last month a large group of 11 Christian families were told they must "recant" their Christian faith or face forced eviction from their homes.
Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
The following report details the recent questioning of two new U.S. ambassadors to Laos and Malaysia by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during their nomination proceedings. Encouragingly both potential future ambassadors recognized not only the need to promote religious freedom, but were familiar with specific situations were religious minorities are facing discrimination. In Laos new converts to Christianity in rural areas are sometimes driven from their homes and occasionally arrested by local authorities, who pressure the converts to renounce their faith. In Malaysia tension over the use of the word 'Allah' to refer to God by Christians is rising as a new court case tries to make such usage illegal. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida is to be given credit for posing the questions regarding religious freedom to the ambassadorial nominees.
Saturday, June 29th, 2013
As one of the five remaining Communist nations on earth, Laos continues to not only impose legal restrictions on the freedom of worship but allows local village leaders to expel or harass Christian villagers with little fear of government repercussions. New believers in Laos are some of the most common victims. On numerous occasions in recent years new believers and their families have been forced to leave their homes and barred from ever returning after accepting Christ.
Sunday, June 16th, 2013
As one of the five remaining Communist nations on earth, Laos continues to impose undue restrictions on religious freedom. While the national government claims to allow Christians to worship freely, many provincial and village level officials continue to harass and threaten Christians. Recently families in two villages in Laos have been asked to leave and resettle elsewhere after converting to Christianity. Families who refuse to move are sometimes ostracized by the community and may face further harassment by the authorities.
Monday, April 8th, 2013
As one of the last five remaining Communist nations on earth Laos has a record for discriminating against and persecuting Christians. ICC was glad to hear today that three pastors arrested more than two months ago for "spreading the Christian religion" have been released. Their arrest and brutal treatment by authorities for simply making copies of Christian DVD's is evidence of how little Laos respects basic religious freedoms.
Saturday, March 16th, 2013
Although Laos has taken formal steps to further religious freedom, recent incidents show that little has changed as Christian persecution is often tolerated, permitted or even endorsed by the state.
Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
In this brief report, a Christian rights group in Laos reports that a couple in their fifties were denied the right to return home after traveling to a nearby village and accepting Jesus as their Savior. The couple had heard a report of healing and went to a nearby village to seek prayer. When their village chief learned of this he issued an eviction order and the couple was told to go live in a village with Christians, as no Christians would be welcome in their old town.
Thursday, February 7th, 2013
In a report published this morning by Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom it was revealed that three pastors in Savannakhet province were arrested on Tuesday after being discovered making copies of Christian CD’s. Local authorities have yet to release the three pastors despite not having the legal authority to detain them. Christians in Laos continue to face regular persecution at the hands of hostile Communist officials.
Monday, January 14th, 2013
The Communist government of Laos has long tolerated and even condoned the harassment and arrest of Christians throughout the country. Mr. Boontheong was threatened and imprisoned for his Christian before he and his wife and son went missing in 2004. One Christians organization, CSW, has just written President Choummaly Sayasone asking for him to investigate their disappearance.
Thursday, December 20th, 2012
With scant means of communication, Christians in villages of Laos are rarely able to tell the world about the pressures they go through because of their faith. Ruling communists, who maintain a monopoly of political power but with a sense of vulnerability, view Christian growth as a threat to their regime, and seek to force believers to return to traditional faiths.
Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
Laos is one of the five remaining Communist nations on earth and Christians still face regular persecution for their faith. Most of it takes place in rural areas, far from the eyes of the international media. ICC is working with local organizations to bring aid to Christian Lao families that have faced everything from social discrimination to arrest to pressure to convert back to their animist beliefs.
Sunday, November 18th, 2012
Laos, one of the five remaining Communist nations on earth, continues to actively work at curtailing the growth of Christianity. Local officials are often able to openly persecute Christians by confiscating their church buildings, publicly denouncing them, and even arresting them on trumped up charges. Earlier this summer government officials in one province made sure a group of about 180 Christians starving from famine weren't receiving any food aid from outside as a way to pressure the group to renounce Christianity. ICC donors funded the purchase and delivery of almost 6000 pounds of rice to rescue the Christian community from severe hunger.
Monday, October 29th, 2012
After refusing to participate in occult rituals declaring their adherence to traditional beliefs, the homes of about 50 Christians in Laos have been threatened to be destroyed by local authorities and village chiefs, Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom reports.
Saturday, October 27th, 2012
Although three Lao Christians were reportedly released from prison after authorities could find no justification to keep them behind bars, family members say the men never arrived home. “They were actually returned to the Phin district prison and continue to be subjected to hardship, harassment and threats until now. Phin district authorities are reportedly seeking more evidence to charge them,” Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports.
Friday, October 26th, 2012
31 Christian families were commanded to perform spirit occult rituals and declare that they adhere to the traditional religion. “Christians were required to sign documents as a proof that they have resubmitted themselves to the spirits through the ceremony and have renounced Christ,” Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom reports. If the Christians refuse, they will be forced to leave their village.
Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
Tribal leaders are trying to force animism on three Protestant clergymen in Laos. According to this report, the Christians were imprisoned but authorities failed to convict them last month on “vague and unfounded” charges. “[The authorities] agreed with village chiefs to subject the pastors traditional animistic rituals and practices in order to have them renege their faith,” Asia News reports.
Monday, October 22nd, 2012
Three jailed Christians in Laos are being pressured by their village chief to participate in occult rituals and recant their faith in Jesus, BosNewsLife reports. "Christians were required to sign documents as a proof that they have resubmitted themselves to the spirits through the ceremony and have renounced Christ," read a statement from Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom. The Christians have been imprisoned since September 17 in the Savannakhet province.
Sunday, September 23rd, 2012
Police in Laos have arrested three pastors in Savannakhet Province, putting one of them in stocks after his arrest. They then questioned the pastors’ wives, asking them “Why do you believe in the Christian faith?” The pastors are suffering physically and two are seriously ill. Their families are asking that they be treated in a nearby hospital. In June, ICC sent a delivery of rice to over 100 Lao Christians who were starving from famine and were refused help by the local government because of their faith in Christ.
Friday, September 21st, 2012
This brief report covers the story of a 24-year old Pastor found covered in blood in the jungle by his church members, who believe it was probably foul play. Laos is overtly Communist and scattered reports suggest that local authorities have been taking part in a wave of repression against Christian believers. Several arrests of pastors and Christian leaders have taken place in the last few months and believers have been put into stocks. Some Christians have also been threatened with expulsion from their village if they refuse to recant Christianity.
Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that cases of persecution against Lao Christians have steadily increased across the country in 2012. In the first six months of 2012 ICC reported on fifteen separate incidents of Christian persecution in Laos, the same amount reported in all of 2011.
Monday, August 27th, 2012
Four Christians have been released in Laos after spending six weeks in jail without charges for holding a Bible study.
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
"His problems all began when, through his witness, at least 300 other villagers decided to embrace the Christian faith."
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
"God is real. When we believe, we are healed from sickness and immediately delivered from the possession of evil spirits." He further stated: "We cannot deny the reality of God's power." The village authorities replied: "Our village does not allow any other religions to be practiced here other than our Lao religions." Lao religions are Buddhism, Brahmanism, and spirit worship.
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
Christian Solidarity Worldwide has expressed concerned in what it sees as a "pattern" of religious persecution in Laos. For the past few months intermittent reports of arrests, church closures, and discrimination against Christians have been emerging from the country.
Monday, June 25th, 2012
The Lao authorities have not allowed any contact with those four Christians. All personal belongings, including money, phones and personal possessions, were confiscated. Now family members are gathering resources in order to care for the four prisoners. Since Lao prisons do not provide adequate care, it is up to family members to provide food.