Imagine being asked to pray for a sick friend, and when that friend dies you are thrown into prison. Recently in Laos, a request for prayer led to the imprisonment of five Christian leaders. Four men and one women were arrested after a woman they prayed for died from her sickness. The Christians were charged with treating a patient without a medical license.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated story about Christian persecution in the Southeast Asian country. Laos has been ruled by the Communist Party since 1975. Unlike most communist nations, which adhere to strict atheist policies and religious intolerance, the government in Laos provides special allowances and preferential treatment for Buddhists.
When a Christian dies in Laos, pastors are routinely denied permission to hold a Christian funeral service. There are also stories of villages expelling Christians from their homes if they refuse to recant their faith.
Not all persecution in Laos comes from the federal or local government. Christians often face pressure from their own family members. "Tou Ly" and "Fai Cho," were kicked out of their homes for refusing to participate in traditional ancestral worship. In another instance, when a twenty-year-old man named Qhua Xiong converted to Christianity, his family beat him and kept him tied up for over a day. He is not allowed to return home.
Christianity has been declared the number one enemy of the state In Laos. Authorities call it "a lying religion which violates Lao custom." Although there are active Christians and churches in Laos, along with Christian radio broadcasts, the people in Laos need our fervent prayers so that the gospel can spread.
Pray that Christians in Laos who face persecution will remain steadfast.
Pray that Christians would have boldness and discernment in evangelizing.
Pray that God would keep drawing more and more people in Laos to salvation.
"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard." Isaiah 58:8