The landlocked south-east Asian nation of Laos doesn’t get a lot of attention in the international media. Nevertheless, Laos is home to a small but growing number of Christians. About 150,000 worship at state-recognised churches belonging to the Roman Catholic Church or the Lao Evangelical Church, with at least 100,000 more Protestants attending unregistered churches. Most of the majority-Buddhist population is tolerant of other religions, but some local officials see Christianity as a foreign religion’ and a threat.
Christian converts have suffered forced eviction, confiscation of land and livestock, harassment and discrimination. CSW has also received reports of new converts being forced to take part in animist rituals in order to make them abandon their faith. In extreme cases, Christians have been known to disappear’.
Please pray for:
- Pray for the safety of Christians who have disappeared’;
- Give thanks for the release of three pastors who were detained earlier this year for making copies of a Christian DVD;
- Pray for courage and comfort for Christian converts under pressure to give up their new faith;
- Give thanks for the release of two Christians from Khammouan Province who were detained in 2012 for holding a Christmas celebration;
- Pray for Catholics in the northern part of the country whose legitimate religious activities are still restricted;
- Give thanks that some parts of the country have seen a drop in the number of enforced disappearances;
- Pray for Christians in remote areas who are being pressured to leave their homes; pray for pastors to be able to visit them safely and encourage them.