7/23/2020 (Voice of the Persecuted) LAOS – Population: 7,06 million, Christian 227,000
The Communist regime tightly controls every aspect of religious life in Laos. The government has passed laws that make it difficult to build churches or conduct religious activities. Even 75 percent of all government-approved Lao Evangelical Church congregations do not have permanent church structures and are forced to conduct worship services in homes.
Authorities are also re-emphasizing Communist values and trying to keep the number of conversions down. It reflects the government’s effort to stay in power and fight all forces perceived as foreign. Christians must take extreme caution to stay on the good side of the Communist authorities. House churches are considered illegal gatherings and must operate in secret. The authorities use information from registered churches, which are government-controlled, and local leaders—mostly Buddhist monks—to put pressure on Christians.
Christians who have converted from the primary religions—Buddhism and traditional animism—are the most targeted for persecution; they are thought to have rejected their families and communities. Converts to Christianity in Laos face the most severe forms of Christian persecution. Abandoning Buddhism or tribal animist beliefs is seen as a betrayal to family members and the community, which fuels the perception that Christians essentially excommunicate themselves from the Buddhist-animist community.
A Christian villager told Radio Free Asia on 5/7 that in Luang Prabang province in the country’s north, religious rights are still restricted, with officials deriding Christianity as an American import.
“They say that in our village there is no Christian god, and that our ancestors were all animist,” according to the anonymous source.
An official once told the source, “But you people believe in America’s god. Don’t you remember what America did to our country?” He was referring to widespread bombing carried out in Laos during the Vietnam War.
Christian villagers are also marginalized in their interaction with the government, sometimes they are cheated out of their land, the source added. “They say that Christians have no rights, and that no one will take care of them,” he said. “We even go to speak to the village leaders, but these are the same people who are already angry with Christians.”
[Animism puts more emphasis on the uniqueness of each individual soul. … Examples of Animism can be seen in forms of Shinto, Hinduism, Buddhism, pantheism, Paganism, and Neopaganism. Shinto Shrine: Shinto is an animistic religion in Japan.]
- Please pray for the governments to increase openness and acceptance of Christianity and for progress in religious freedom as Laos is one of the five remaining Marxist-Leninist countries in the world and puts enormous pressure on Christian minorities.
- Pray that Christians will be permitted to register churches and have legal status.
- Pray that Christians have access Bibles and discipleship materials.
- Pray that Christian children in Buddhist schools would not be discriminated against and given low grades simply because of their faith (this is currently happening).
- Pray that Christians would have wisdom to know how to share the gospel with their Buddhist neighbors and family members. Pray they would lead with love and be well-received.
- Pray for believers who have converted from Buddhism and experience pressure in their new faith from family’s and community
- Pray that believers would have courage and endurance in the face of persecution.
- Pray that believers sense God’s presence and his comfort
- Pray for the protection of Christian NGOs as they minister to Christian minorities
- Pray to the Lord to bind the forces of darkness and grow His church.
Again, we want to lift up persecuted witnesses for the Lord and pray for Leah Sharibu and Alice, pray that they will be set free. And also lift up pastor Wang Yi to be released from Prison and ask for the release for Anita, a Christian convert recently sentenced to 6 years in prison for sharing the Gospel in Iran
You are invited to join us on Thursday, July 23 in a prayer call for the persecuted church.
Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Moderator
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What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God.
The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.
With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.
On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer.
Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.
Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you.
If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!
NOTE: Persecution Watch has a new email address for the prayer team and those who would like to receive urgent prayer requests, weekly call prayer points and notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.
Please fill out the form below to be included in our new distribution list to receive this important information. We are grateful for your prayers and to the Lord for guiding us as we continue the Persecution Watch prayer call mission.
Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.