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(BosNewsLife) – Two Christian leaders, including a former Communist, have been sentenced to three years in prison on false charges of “possessing illegal weapons”, a well informed missionary organization said Thursday, July 14. Ttwo men, identified as Mr. Khamchan, 59, and Mr. Vangthong, 31, had been held in custody since March 27. News of the sentence comes amid growing concern within the human rights community about reports of widespread torture of Christians and other government supported pressure on Christian communities in the Communist-run Asian nation. “Christians commonly have been charged with social crimes, such as possession of weapons, in order to divert the real issues behind arrests and imprisonment,” a CAM contact in Laos said on condition of anonymity. The person who possessed the weapons used to accuse the two men reportedly confessed his guilt to authorities. However Christian Aid’s contact claimed that “officials refused to listen because they desire to keep Khamchan and Vangthong in prison” instead.