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Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Laos

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(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, November 10, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

LAOS: Population: 7,2 million; Christians 203,000 thousand

Following the constitution of 1991, Laos is a people democracy with the revolutionary party of the Laotian people as the state party. That is, this party – a Communist Party – has the government and is the only political party allowed. The supreme executive has been appointed a state president, elected by the National Assembly for five years.

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. Even the 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.

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.

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 witnesses.

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.

Despite updating a law to protect religious activities and uphold religious freedom, Christians in Laos continue to face harassment by local officials, according to sources from the communist country.

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.”

Ethnic Hmong Christians in Laos remain objects of suspicion by authorities for refusing to renounce their Christian faith, with three families evicted from their homes and village in Luang Namtha province’s Tine Doi village earlier this 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.

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.

  • Pray that the Lord will convict Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, who is also the LPRP general secretary, the leader of Laos, to give freedom to Christians to live their faith.
  • Pray that Christians will find increasing favor with local religious leaders and government officials.
  • Pray that all imprisoned Christians will be strengthened in body, mind and spirit—and for their imminent release.
  • Pray for protection of new believers who now face persecution for deciding to follow Jesus. 
  • Pray for the house churches and their leaders. Ask God to hide them from surveillance, attacks and imprisonment.
  • Pray for the pastors and leaders that to covert = underground ministry work.
  • Pray for God to open doors to evangelism and protection for the believers who boldly proclaim the Good News.
  • Pray to the Lord to bring an end to the trafficking of Laotian girls into China and give those who have been sold a way to escape their situation.
  • Pray to the Lord to guide His believers through His Holy Spirit on how to counter allegations that Christianity is an American religion.
  • Pray that despite government obstruction of both printing and importing Christian literature, distribution of Bibles will safely reach Christians.
  • Pray for Bible translations at the situation is highly complex. There are 31 languages in need for translation – and another 26 languages.
  • Ask God to provide protection for Open Doors and all other NGOs to have wisdom as they serve our family in Laos.
  • Pray for the Lord to supernaturally strengthen and grow His church and that the forces of darkness will fail to prevent the spreading of Christianity.
  • Ask God to provide protection for Open Doors partners and wisdom as they serve our family in Laos.

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.

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.

Anita, a Christian convert, had faced a long prison term but was able to escape from Iran. She and her family have finally arrived in their permanent host country where they can express their faith openly. Pray for an easy transition into the new culture. Pray also for her family still waiting for asylum. May they be reunited soon.

The Harvest

“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

Again, we want to lift these persecuted witnesses to the Lord:  

  • Leah Sharibu, a prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018, pray for her release.
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
  • Pray For Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
  • Pray for Anita to make an easy transition into her new culture and that the Lord will be gracious in bringing her family members to Canada.
  • For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence, recently reduced from ten years.
  • The Harvest: 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 

Access Code: 281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link or App Store – iTunes

If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.

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

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

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.


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