In one province of Laos, a Christian family was expelled for their faith and, in another province, a worship service was disrupted and members threatened with arrest.
On Oct. 1, the deputy village chief and local security forces halted the worship service at a house church in Khampou village in Savannakhet Province. Eighteen individuals were threatened with arrest and a large fine if they continue to practice their religion, states Morning Star News, using information from Human Rights Watcher for Lao Religious Freedom.
RELATED: Check out more stories on the persecuted church here.
Four years ago, one family became the first Christians in the village. In the next two years, approximately 180 villagers put their faith in Jesus, the group says.
Pressure from local officials
Because of pressure from local officials since then, about 15 remain in the faith, the group states.
On Sept. 3 in Salavan province, a Christian family of seven was barred from Tabong village, their house destroyed and the family members put into detention when they would not renounce their faith, the rights group reports. The family has secured temporary shelter.
Laos is No. 31 on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian. Article 30 of Laos’ constitution acknowledges the right to practice a religion, Morning Star says.