(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Saturday August 6, 2022, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.
LAOS: Population: 7.2 million, Christians 20,000 plus
Laos is a communist state with the president as the head of state and the prime minister as the head of government. The one-party socialist state gained independence from the French in 1949. The country was established as a communist People’s Republic in 1975 after cancelling the constitution in 1975.
In Laos, the constitution allows for freedom of faith, in theory. But the government, which adopted atheism, has restricted the practice of Christianity. Officials, looking back to the sufferings of the Vietnam War they blame on America, see Christianity as a propagandist arm of militaristic capitalism. Christians are accused to believe in America’s god,”
The hostility towards Christians is not only practiced by the government. Laotians are mostly Buddhist or animists and see conversion to Christianity as a grave offense against the local gods.
Christian freedom in Laos is severely curtailed by the intense monitoring of the Communist authorities.
House churches that do not have administrative approval are considered “illegal gatherings” and must operate underground. Majority of registered churches do not have permanent church structures and must conduct worship services in homes.
The brunt of persecution is reserved for converts to Christianity, who are deemed guilty of betraying the Buddhist-animist traditions of their community. They frequently face pressure and violence from their families and the local authorities, both of whom will stir up opposition from the local community or religious leaders. This can lead to converts being expelled from the village.
Provinces such as Luang Namtha, Phongsaly and Houphan in the north, and Khammuane and Savannakhet in the south, have traditionally been difficult places for Christians to live. The local authorities in these areas still seem determined to silence Christian witness.
Example: Soy was imprisoned at age 14, along with other believers. They refused to deny Jesus when pressured by the authorities. After being released, Soy encountered further challenges; she was bullied at school and her teachers ignored her. Soy stated “After I accepted Jesus Christ, I felt like a normal person. My heart and soul were completely healed! However, my happiness was crushed because of harsh persecution. My friends and my non-believing cousins hate me and say mean things to me.”
What has changed compared to last year? Despite Laos dropping four places on the World Watch List, the situation for Christians remains largely unchanged. While fewer Christians were arrested compared to last year, an increasing number of converts are being displaced from their homes as they face rejection by their villages. The pandemic also made gathering information more difficult, so the reality may be more severe than reported.
- Pray for PresidentThongloun Sisoulith, that the Lord will convict him to uphold the constitution which endorses freedom for religion.
- Pray for Christians to find favor with local religious leaders and government officials.
- Pray that all imprisoned Christians will be strengthened in body, mind and spirit. Pray for their imminent release
- Pray for protection for the believers who have left Hinduism and are persecuted for their faith
- Pray for the Lord to bring an end to the trafficking of Laotian girls to China and give those who have been sold a way to escape their situation.
- Pray for the protection of NGOs and their partners and for wisdom as they serve our family in Laos. Working to strengthen persecuted believers by providing Christian materials, leadership and discipleship training, socio-economic development programs, advocacy support and emergency relief.
- Pray to the Lord that He will blind, confuse, and distract the radical Buddhists and local communist leaders who try to restrain and repress Cristian life
- Pray for the house churches that the Lord will hide them from hostile surveillance, attacks, and imprisonment.
- Pray for church leaders to be granted protection and wisdom in covert ministry work.
- Pray that the Lord will give believers boldness and courage to witness and to hold His hand of protection over them.
- Pray that persecuted believers will not become bitter and be able to love and forgive.
- Pray to the Lord that HE will protect and raise up His church, that there will be a great increase in the number of believers and that the gates of hell will be helpless to stop it.
We are continuing to lift up these persecuted witnesses to the Lord:
Leah Sharibu prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.
Alice Loksha Ngaddah was kidnapped in February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
Pastor Wang Yi to be released from Chinese prison.
Anita a Christian convert, facing a long prison term who escaped from Iran and praying to go to a country where she can express her faith openly.
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran for his release and his family as their persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence.
“I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18)
Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator
Prayer Conference Call Details
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
From any location on your phone
USA Time Zone:
9:00 PM Eastern
8:00 PM Central
7:00 PM Mountain
6:00 PM Pacific
Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)
Access Code: 281207#
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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 time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.
Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.
“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.
On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are 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 are new to the call and cannot 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!
God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.
Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team
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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.