Christianity is labeled a “foreign religion” in Laos, so becoming a believer is considered near treason, reports MNN.
Christians in Communist-ruled Laos report escalating persecution. According to the World Evangelical Alliance, believers are dealing with more outright harassment and intimidation tactics.
The trend began in 2004 when reports began to surface about the treatment believers received at the hands of the government.
Some have been held at gunpoint and forced to renounce their faith in Christ. The government has also put extensive restrictions on all religious groups. While the government has worked to improve their human rights record, the church is not yet free from persecution.
Two believers and a pastor have been handcuffed and in stocks since August for refusing to renounce their faith. 32-year-old Pastor Sompong Supatto and 18-year-olds, Boot and Khamvan Chanthaleuxay were taken from a house church because they were practicing their faith.
They were officially arrested August 3 for refusing to sign papers renouncing their faith. They had been threatened several times previously but had continued to worship.
According to Compass Direct reports, Pastor Supatto faces life behind bars for leading the Boukham church. The teenagers will only be released when they renounce their faith.
Report from the Christian Telegraph