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03/04/2022 Laos (International Christian Concern) – A Christian family was attacked and driven from their home in a religiously-motivated attack on Feb. 9. The attack took place in the village of Dong Savanh, Savannakhet province, which is located in southern Laos.

According to an article published by UCA News, Buddhist villagers drove out twelve members of the Christian family to practice a “foreign religion” in their midst. The family’s home was burned to the ground, and the family fled the village to shelter with some relatives.

Laos is a Buddhist-majority communist nation. Christians in Laos routinely face discrimination, victimization, harassment, and expulsion from their homes and villages.

Seng Aloun, the recently widowed matriarch of the family, said that fellow villagers would not allow her to bury her husband in the village cemetery when he passed away last December. The Buddhist villagers refused to allow her family a burial plot, even going so far as to hit her husband’s coffin with wooden sticks and hit her family members during the funeral.

Forced to find an alternative burial place, Seng ended up burying her husband in her own rice field. Unfortunately, the villagers seized this field in the Feb. 9 attack.

In 2017, Seng’s family was also driven from the city. She told UCA News, “Village residents and local authorities don’t like us because we believe in Jesus Christ. They don’t want us here. They say they don’t like the religion of a foreign country.”

Government authorities in Laos are investigating the situation but deny that the violent attack was religiously motivated. Instead, they have labeled the attack as merely a personal conflict.

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