On 2 December 2013, five Christian families received an eviction order from the Natahall village authorities and the Phin district police.
The Lao authorities deemed that believing in the Christian faith was contrary to local religious beliefs and customs. They therefore acted to ban the Christian faith from the village and expel residents who are Christians from the village if they continue to exercise their religious freedom to embrace Christianity.
The Christians insisted on and defended their religious right to the Christian faith.
On 8 December, the village chief publically declared that the Christians would be personally responsible for any death coming upon Natahall villagers because the chief and elders maintained that believing in God violated the village’s longstanding spirit beliefs and customs. The chief was prepared to issue legal documents for relocating Christians to other Christian communities in the province.
Amidst continuous threats by the officials, three more families have joined the Christian faith.
The village chief, along with the Phin district police stationed in Tathai sub-district, summoned the eight Christian families for a four-hour meeting on 11 March. The officials jeered the Natahall Christians and directed them to abandon their Christian faith, stating that the Christians believe in a foreign American religion.
Christian residents of Natahall village are fighting hard to keep their homes as well as their constitutionally guaranteed right to believe in Christ. They have appealed to the Phin district religious affairs to intervene; however, nothing has happened.
Source: Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom
- Thank the Lord for the faithfulness of these believers; praise Him more families have decided to willingly count the cost for following Him. Pray for their protection.
- Pray the Lord will use the testimony of these believers to further extend His kingdom in the area.
- Pray the authorities will uphold religious freedom and allow these Christians to worship the one true God.