Officials force Christians to recant in Laos

January 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Asia, newsletter-asia, Persecution

La displaced ChristiansDublin, January 06, 2012: Officials forced Christians in a Lao village to give up their faith in order to bury a family member in the village graveyard. In Huey, Ad-Sapangthong district of Savannakhet Province, the village’s eight Christian families quickly began to arrange a funeral for a woman named Wang who died on Christmas Day. On December 26, however, village officials ordered that her body be buried according to Buddhist funeral rites or be taken to a burial ground in Savannakhet city. Lacking the resources for a city burial, the 40 Christians reluctantly agreed. But the village monk then refused to carry out the ceremony because Wang was a Christian. With Wang’s body already decomposing and officials demanding that they recant, the Christians verbally agreed to cease practising their faith in order to bury her in the village cemetery. Once the funeral was over, five of the families told church leaders in another city that they regretted their decision and that they would continue to worship God.

Meanwhile, authorities in Boukham village arrested eight Christian leaders on December 16 for gathering some 200 church members for a Christmas celebration. Officials have since moved seven of the leaders to an animal pen, have blocked visits from family members, and have banned direct delivery of food. The Christians are being held in wooden stocks, causing swollen and infected legs and excruciating pain.

Please pray the Lord will strengthen the faith of those who recanted and give them courage to stand boldly for Him. Ask Him to comfort them after this difficult trial. Pray that the believers being held will soon be released. Pray the Lord will grow His Church in Laos.

– vomc

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