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ICC Note: We don’t often hear what happens in Laos , however, there is religious persecution there and we must remember to pray for the Christians there. Especially these 4 families who might be deported back to Laos only to be tortured by the police for loving Jesus Christ

No Religious Freedom in Laos : Hmong Christians Flee Laos to Thailand

By David M. Kinchen

Editor, Huntington News Network

10/8/06 Laos (Huntington News Network) Four Christian Hmong families – with a total of 14 members – fleeing religious persecution from Laos , crossed the Mekong River , where their journey ended in Muag Loei, Loei Province in Thailand .

“They paid their illegal alien dues of 800 Baht per person at the Thai court,” said Kue Xiong, president of the Lao Human Rights Council, a Minnesota-based Hmong organization, who spoke with the Thai police on the phone.

The four families are currently detained at the police station and have refused to go back to Laos .

Some Hmong, who live in the cities, are no longer following their traditional religious systems,” said Rebecca Sommer, from the Society for Threatened Peoples International. She contacted HNN from Sacramento , adding that these city-dwelling Hmong have converted to Christianity. ”Similar to Vietnam , Laos has no religious freedom,” Sommer said. “There are Christian Hmong refugees in the current refugee camp in Thailand , who’ve fled from Vietnam and Laos , and tell unbelievable stories of harassment, imprisonment and torture for their Christian faith.”

They fled because as Christians they have a lot of problems, said Kue Xiong.” Their pastor was arrested two times in the recent past and was just released from prison but under tight surveillance by the local government.”

The group said that they were fed by the local police two times a day, The police officer said if they get an order from their superior to send them to the Hmong refugee camp in Phetchabun, they will.

Currently, approximately 7,000 Hmong fled Laos to Thailand, some of them fled religious persecution, others escaped from the Laotian military training zones, off limit to outsiders, where Hmong groups are hiding, some of them over 30 years, chased, attacked and killed by Lao military soldiers since the government became communist in 1975.

Sommer: “At the current time, Lao authorities came over to the Thai side, and spoke to the Thai police officials about the latest fugitives. There is no clear understanding what the police will do with the four Christian Hmong families.”

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