LAOS – Christians arrested for celebrating Christmas; district official claims “Christianity is the religion of the Europeans and Americans”

3 January 2018

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“In general, Christians are still restricted in this district. They are not allowed to teach from the Bible or to spread their religion to others, because Christianity is the religion of the Europeans and Americans,” stated an official in Phin district, shortly after five Christians were arrested in mid-December.

Authorities in the district in southern Laos arrested four Christians from the same village, along with a pastor from a neighbouring village who they had invited to help organise Christmas celebrations. By inviting the pastor, they had breached regulations which only permit believers to celebrate Christmas within their own village. At the time of writing the five believers have not yet been released.

The government of Laos is officially secular, but the Buddhist are permitted comparative religious freedom, in contrast to Christians who face local harassment and occasional violence

Laos’ under-pressure Christian minority are not seen as citizens of their own country. Their faith is viewed as a foreign religion by the communist government, which gives Buddhists comparative religious freedom while Christians experience localised harassment and sometimes violence.

From Radio Free Asia here

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