Village authorities tear down house church in Laos

21 February 2024

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Christians in Laos urgently need our prayers. Whilst citizens of Laos have the right and freedom “to believe or not to believe in religions” according to the country’s constitution, followers of Jesus are still subject to repeated harassment in rural areas.

Village leaders and residents tore down the private home where Christians were gathered and interrupted a worship service in Savannakhet province on Sunday 4 February.

“The village authorities came here and tore down our home at around 10.30 a.m. Sunday morning,” reported a worshipper at the church in Kaleum Vangke village in Xonboury district. The eyewitness added that the mob burned Bibles and other documents in the assault.

Village authorities and residents tear down a house church in Kaleum Vangke village in Savannakhet province, Laos, on Sunday 4 February  [Image credit: Citizen journalist]

A “Law on the Evangelical Church”, in force since December 2019, gives Christians the right to conduct services, preach throughout Laos and maintain contacts with believers in other countries. The law is not well enforced in rural areas; the Kaleum Vangke church did not escape attack despite being affiliated with the Lao Evangelical Church, the only Christian denomination recognised by the government.

The tearing down of Christian homes and eviction of Christians from villages has happened repeatedly in country districts in Laos. (See Prayer Focus Update, December 2023).

Pray that the law will be upheld throughout Laos and that Christians will be able to worship in peace. Ask the Lord to sustain and strengthen believers in Kaleum Vangke in this unsettling situation. Pray that our brothers and sisters will receive Divine encouragement to build on the secure foundations established by our precious cornerstone, the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:4), even when man-made structures are torn down. Pray for an end to evictions of Christians in rural parts of Laos on account of their faith.

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