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Arbitrary arrests, threats, kidnappings: the new anti-Christian persecution


“Wave of persecution against Protestants in particular, accused of being a “threat” to the government because they adhere to foreign faiths. Children denied school and families denied water, believers treated like pariahs and chased from the village. Among the causes, the economic support of authoritarian states.

9/18/09 Laos (AsiaNews) Christians in Laos are being subjected to constant persecution, with arrests and threats against the faithful, who are sometimes even banished from their home village.

The group Human Rights Watch for Laos Religious Freedom (Hrwlrf) reports that on 3 September in the village Lainsai, in the south, the police arrested Thao Oun, pastor of the local Christian church in Boukham, accusing him of trying to destroy the nation and the government through adherence to the Christian faith. He was interrogated and threatened for hours, with the pressing demand to report on other believers. On September 5, Thao Aom, a Christian convert of only 10 months, was arrested. He refused to recant and authorities have banned him from returning to his village. The next day, Sunday, September 6th, the police surrounded the local church in Boukham and prevented the faithful from entering to pray. Local authorities forbid Christians to send their children to school and deny them water, medical care and protection of the law, trying to make them outcasts.

According to the U.S. Annual Report on Religious Freedom in July 2008 alone more than 500 Christians suffered threats and violence to make them recant, including prison, expulsion from their home villages, seizure of livestock (very important for the family economy), denial of the school to children, denial of identity documents.

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