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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Laotian Christians Targeted

DUBLIN, August 8 (Compass Direct News) – Authorities in Laos have detained or arrested at least 90 Christians in three provinces in recent weeks, including an arrest last Sunday (Aug. 3) of a pastor and two other believers from a house church in Boukham village, Savannakhet province. Arrests were reported in the southern provinces of Saravan and Savannakhet and in Luang Prabang province in the north. In one incident on July 21, Compass sources said officials detained 80 Christians in Katin village, Saravan province, after residents seized a Christian neighbor identified only as Pew and poured rice wine down his throat, killing him by asphyxiation. When mourning family members buried the Christian and put a wooden cross on the grave, village officials accused them of “practicing the rituals of the enemy of the state” and seized a buffalo and pig from the family as a fine. On July 25, according to Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom, officials rounded up 17 of the 20 Christian families in the village – a total of 80 men, women and children – and detained them in a local school compound, denying them food for three days in an attempt to force the adults to sign documents renouncing their faith.

Source: Compass Direct News

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