Eleven Laotian families, about fifty people in all, face expulsion from Nongdaeng village (Borikan District, central province of Bolikhamsai) because of their conversion to Christianity.
On 30 August, village authorities issued an order to family representatives, stating that they must abjure their faith and return to the local traditional religion of animism within three days to avoid expulsion. Despite the impending threat, the Laotian believers plan to continue conducting worship services, insisting that the Laos constitution protects their religious rights.
Problems with the Nongdaeng government escalated between April and May of 2013 when three Christian families began hosting worship services in their homes. Eight additional families residing nearby decided to embrace Christianity, increasing the total number of Christian families to eleven.
Since the Communists came to power in 1975, and the resulting expulsion of foreign missionaries, the Christian minority in Laos has been subjected to strict governmental controls. Even tighter restrictions have been imposed since 2011, following a violent crackdown against protests led by some groups within the country’s Hmong ethnic minority.
Sources: Asia News, International Christian Concern