Laos: Families driven out of their Buddhist village for conversion to Christianity
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Over a dozen families and their pastor have been driven from their homes in a majority-Buddhist village in Laos because they have converted to Christianity, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
Having been residents of Mai village in the Luang Namtha province of Laos, the Christian families face homelessness and joblessness, having been “kicked out” of their homes by their village neighbors, ICC reports.
“Even though it is a majority-Buddhist nation, Laos technically has a national law that protects the freedom of religion for its citizens. However, in actuality, Christians are treated as second-class citizens and face various forms of discrimination and oppression,” ICC said in its report.
Confirming the ICC report on conditions for Christians in Laos, the US Open Doors Christian aid and advocacy NGO explained in a website statement: “People from the Buddhist-animist community who become Christians face pressure and violence from their families and the local authorities. The community often gets stirred up against them until the new believers are expelled from their home village.”
While Laos is ruled by an authoritarian communist government, the majority religion in this small southeast Asian country is Buddhism, elements of which are extremely hostile toward followers of Jesus.
Laos ranks 31st on the US Open Doors World Watch List of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
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