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(Compass) – The government of Laos has launched a new crackdown on Bru tribal Christians in southern Savannakhet. Sources have confirmed that 24 Bru Christians were arrested in the last week of March. The believers were beaten, tied to a post under the hot sun, tortured with red ants and asked to sign documents renouncing their faith. Eventually 22 of the believers — under great duress — signed the documents and were released. The other two remain in prison. Meanwhile, other Christians living in Muangphin district have been threatened with serious harm if they meet together for prayer or worship.