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Three Christian pastors in Laos have been arrested and detained for “spreading the Christian religion” by reproducing a DVD of a Christian film. Pastor Bounma of Alowmai Village Church, Pastor Somkaew of Kengsainoi Village Church and Pastor Bounmee of Savet Village Church, were arrested on 5 February 2013 by the Phin District police in Savannakhet province.

The pastors took a DVD copy of a film about the ‘End Times’ to a shop in Phin District market in order to make three copies. After the copies were made, the owner of the shop, along with the three pastors, tested one of the DVDs and watched the film through to the end. While they were watching, a police officer came to the shop and saw the shop owner and the pastors watching the film. The police officer then contacted his superior, Lieutenant Khamvee, who came to the shop accompanied by two deputies. The police arrested the three pastors and took the shop owner to the police station for further questioning. The shop owner was later released without charge.

During their interrogation, the pastors claimed that the three copies were for their own use, but the authorities insisted that they were ‘spreading the Christian religion’ through the film. The three pastors are currently being detained in Phin district prison. Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide