Seven Lao Christians Arrested During Christmas Service
12/31/2018 Laos (International Christian Concern) – A company of nine police officers raided the Nakanong Village’s Christmas church service at approximately 6:00 PM on December 29, 2018. They arrested 3 church leaders, while the believers were worshipping God.
At 8:00 PM, the police authorities returned to the Nakanong church and arrested 4 more Christians. They were last seen being handcuffed and led away to the Phin district police headquarters.
According to Human Rights Watcher for Lao Religious Freedom, those arrested are Mr. Akeo, Mr. Kert, Mr, Somwang, Mr. Boulai, Mr. Champee, Mr. Agàe, and Mr. Ayoung. The three church leaders are being detained in the Phin district police headquarters.
The arrested were charged with illegal gathering for Christmas church service without permission.
In addition, around 10:00 PM the same day, the police authorities again returned to the Nakanong Church, demolished the stage, cut off the power line, destroyed the sound system, and seized 3 mobile phones.
Although the Lao Constitution guarantees Lao people to religious freedom and the accompanying rights and the government ratified the U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 2009, minority religious believers like Christians are still being persecuted by the government.
For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.