22

Lao People's Democratic Republic

Lao People's Democratic Republic

World Watch List Rank 22
World Watch List Score 71/100
Leader President Bounnhang Vorachit
Population  7,165,000 | 199,000 Christians
Main Religion Buddhism
WWL Rank in 2020 20
Persecution Level Very High Persecution

Christian activities are heavily monitored by the communist authorities, including those of registered churches. Especially in rural areas, house churches are forced to meet underground as they are considered “illegal gatherings.”

Life is especially difficult for converts to the Christian faith, who are at risk of persecution from their family and the local authorities. This can involve damage to property, confiscation of possessions and issuing of fines.Opposition is heightened when a convert’s family or the local authorities stir up the local community against them. 

Christian women face the danger of being beaten, raped, sexually harassed. There is the risk of arranged marriage intended to make them renounce their faith. Church leaders, who are generally men, can face imprisonment in harsh and degrading conditions and asked to pay a huge fine to secure their release. Their absence weakens churches spiritually and evokes fear.

What changed this year?

Laos has dropped two places to No. 22 on the 2021 World Watch List. This shows a marginal reduction in opposition to Christianity, reflected in the fact the government started a training program on freedom of religion and belief for local authorities. If this will lead to improvements at the grassroots level remains to be seen. Regardless, it will not change family and community opposition against converts, so Laos remains an enormously challenging country in which to follow Jesus.

HOW WE HELP

Through local church partners, Open Doors strengthens persecuted believers in Laos by providing Christian materials, leadership and discipleship training, socio-economic development programs, advocacy support, emergency relief and practical aid.  

PRAY FOR LAOS

  • Give thanks for the growth of the church in Laos; pray that God will continue to use His people to bring more people knowledge of Jesus’ love. 
  • Pray that believers under pressure to recant their faith will have strength to stand firm. 
  • Pray for families and churches left without the support and leadership of a husband and/or leader; pray that all their needs will be met and that it would be an opportunity for others to grow and thrive. 
Pray for Laos

RECENT STORIES FROM Lao People's Democratic Republic

Interview: Persecution in Laos

28th Oct 2020

Found in Podcast

This week we sit down with one of our ministry partners in Laos, Ruth. Ruth informs us about persecution in Laos, shares stories of persecuted…

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Laos: Church threatened while the nation celebrates

23rd Jan 2020

Found in Prayer News

January is a month of celebration in Laos. An annual Buddhist festival known as Boun Pha Vet is celebrated all throughout Laos in January. The festivity commemorates…

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