Sixty percent of Laotians consider themselves to be Buddhists, but most practise a syncretistic version of Buddhism mixed with tribal animism. Around three percent of Laotians are evangelical Christians.
In Laos, particularly those in government leadership, view Christianity as a foreign religion and a tool used by the West to undermine the Communist Laotian regime. Many believers are persecuted by family members or village authorities concerned that Christians offend the spirits, and the central government restricts Christian activity. Thanks to bold evangelists, churches continue to grow even as they experience ongoing persecution.
Our contacts report that last year, a group of front-line workers from Vietnam, crossed the border to share the gospel in Laos. There, they met a man named Vijay and led him and his family to Christ.
After several unsuccessful attempts to force Vijay, his wife and daughter to renounce their faith, Laotian local authorities drove the family from their village, by forcibly moving all their belongings from their house and placing them on the side of a road. Security guards were also sent to the village to ensure the family could not return.
Thankfully, a Vietnamese believer living close to the border heard of the matter and has offered a piece of land to the family. During this ordeal, Vijay and his family have never lost heart. In fact, Vijay has expressed a desire to return to the village to share the gospel.
Meanwhile in Vietnam, Ahn, a young man who is described as “a man who loves the Lord, with a zeal to serve Him”, was approached by local authorities last Tuesday evening while he was travelling home with a friend from a church event. The authorities had been angry at Ahn and his friend because of their evangelism activities and demanded they stop. When the two Christians failed to agree to the demands, one of the men used a baton to strike Ahn in the eye. The authorities then left, but only after threatening further harm.
Ahn was taken to a local hospital, where he was informed his eye has been permanently damaged.
Voice of the Martyrs Australia is assisting these believers.
Source: VOM Contacts