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The Church Persecuted

Here, we aim to offer support for those committed to pray in support of Christians around the world who face persecution.  In particular, we include below brief details of the nation for this month.  This year we will be featuring the 'next twelve nations' rather than starting again at [1] in January. This might result in the occasional repeat as the order might have changed since last year.  For further information to support you as you pray, click on the links at the bottom of the page.

Image Laos
Leader:  President Bounnhang Voraachit
Population:  7 million (225,000 Christians)
Main Religion:     Buddhism

World Watch List Rank:  20

Communist authorities monitor all religious activities heavily, including those of registered churchs.

House churches are considered "illegal gatherings" and must operte in secret. The authorities use information from regsitered churches and local leaders (mostly Buddhist monks) to put pressure on believers. Villagers also monitor and expel them. Conversts bear the brunt of persecution as they are considered to have alienated themselves from the Buddhist-animist community. They are frequently put under pressure by their own extended families.

Please Pray:

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to protect believers and enable them to share their faith wisely 
  • For justice to be upheld in schools so that Christian children are not given low marks by Buddhist teachers simply because of their faith
  • For a transformation in the attitude of the regime towards freedom of worhship

More Information:

Perscution in Laos

"I cannot go back to my village. Every time I go, someone calls the police, " said Mei Mei*, a bliever from Laos. After becoming a Chhristian, Mei shared the Gospel with five young peoplewho all became Christians. "Because of this they are expelled from the village by their own parents and the head of the village."

The young believers now stay with Meiin exile at a village six hours away from home. "A lot of times, I cry because of guilt," continues Mei. "I feel it is my fault that these young people are suffering.

"There is no church in our village. There are also no Christians in other villages because the villagers themselves don't allow Christianity to exist. My family members want to to accept Jesus Christ but they are afraid of what the government will do. Currently, there are ten Christians in my village, but they don't reveal their identity because they are afraid. Pray that God will give tghem the courage to live out their faith."

IThe national identity of Laotians is inextricably linked to Buddhism. This makes it common for Christians like Mei to be expelled from their villages, and even tortured and imprisoned by their neighbours, relatives and local officials for chosing to follow Jesus Christ - particulalrly in tribal areas.

"Communities practicing animism also see Christianity as a foreign element that may anger the spirits who protect the village. In one village, authorities tried to force Christians to worship ancestors and swear an oath to animist spirits, thereby demonstrating 'loyalty, innocence and submission' to their leadership.

In order to keep everything under control, the country's communist party puts enormous pressure on the small Christian minority. Elections in March 2016 led to significant power transfers withint he government, but little is expected to change for the believers. Seen as 'foreign agents', Christianity is viewed as a Western ideology that challenges Communism.

However, the main challenge for Christians comes from the country's local authorities who regard Christians as enemies. Believers must take extreme care when talking about their faith for fear of harrassment, eviction and even arrest.


*Name changed for security reasons

For more details please see the following website:

Open Doors      Christian Solidarity Worldwide       Release International

 
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Pastor: Revd Paul Jackson MTh BA
churchoffice@gatewaybaptist.org.uk
www.gatewaybaptist.org.uk
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