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Province in Laos Recognizes Christianity, Eases Persecution

ICC Note: The government of Laos has reduced its level of persecution on certain Christians.

8/21/07 Laos (hcjb) – Native Christians living in Attapeu province of southern Laos are rejoicing. Following years of persecution, the local government now recognizes Christianity as a legitimate religion. Only five years ago local authorities ordered believers in Attapeu to renounce their faith or be exiled from their villages. Christians were prohibited from using common wells, rice mills and other public facilities.

At the beginning of 2002, 73 people professed faith in Christ. But by the end of the year, after heavy persecution, only 30 believers remained steadfast. Persecution continued in subsequent years as Christians were denied basic resources and forced to walk two hours to buy food. Local officials marked the homes of Christians by attaching posters to their front doors. Persecutors poisoned the believers’ animals and threw rocks at their homes. In 2004 several missionaries were arrested and imprisoned for one year, their livestock was confiscated and they were forced to pay fines.

Now, however, for the first time in Attapeu, Christians are able to legally worship in churches….

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Source: Christian Aid Mission