A Christian leader in Laos who was imprisoned for his faith has died of medical complications which were the direct result of his lengthy prison sentence.
Tiang Kwentianthong had actually been released on appeal, but the courts had not made a final verdict on the appeal at the time of his death. The verdict was more than 150 days overdue.
Tiang was one of five Christian leaders arrested 24th June, 2014, and charged with medical malpractice after praying for a sick woman who later died.
Tiang had accompanied the four other Christian leaders to the home of a woman who was a new convert to Christianity and had been sick nearly five years. The leaders prayed for her for two days, but when she did not get better, they took her to a hospital where she was treated and released. She died shortly after going home.
When the family sought permission to hold a Christian burial, authorities attempted to force the family to recant their Christian faith and prevented the family from performing the funeral service.
Village authorities brought in Buddhist monks to perform the funeral service and Tiang and the other Christian leaders were arrested.
All five were found guilty in February 2015, and sentenced to serve nine months in prison, and to pay a fine for their role in the death of the woman.
Following the verdict, Tiang and the other Christians filed an appeal, stating that there was no factual or legal basis for the court’s ruling. Although the Court of Appeals has 45 days to make a judgement, Tiang’s died after waiting 196 days for an outcome.
During his imprisonment, Tiang requested treatment for his worsening diabetic condition, but authorities denied the request. He received no medical treatment between his initial arrest in June and his release in March, 2015. Despite being taken to hospital on his release from prison, Tiang’s condition continued to deteriorate, and he died in September.
No decision has been made on the appeal of the other four Christian leaders.
- Pray for the family of Tiang, as they mourn his death. Pray for the comfort and peace of God to surround them.
- Pray for the other four leaders still awaiting the outcome of their appeal. Pray for a speedy decision and for them to be totally acquitted of any wrong doing.
- Pray for Christians in Laos, as they face oppression and persecution in this mainly Buddhist country.
- Pray for the Laos government to soften their stance towards Christians, and to allow freedom of worship and belief, as well as equal rights for Christians.
- Pray for the spread of the Gospel in this nation and for many to come to know Christ.
Psalm 61 vs 1, 3: “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; … to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion – to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.