Officials in Laos Seize Church Building, Convert it Into School

Lao Christians meetingCompass Direct News (CDN) is reporting that authorities in Laos forcibly confiscated a church building in Savannakhet Province on Sept. 14 due to lack of official permission; the church had not applied for a building permit as the country routinely denies such applications, sources said.

Pictured: Christians meeting in a home in Laosto avoid persecution (Photo: AllVoices)

“Christians in Laos often do not risk applying for a building permit as it draws unwanted attention and can preempt any chance of building a simple structure, the sources said; authorities generally ignore a lack of building permit if religious groups cause no problems,” said the CDN story.

“The confiscation of the Dongpaiwan village church building by Saybuli district officials, police and military personnel came shortly after officials in Nonsawang village, also in Savannakhet, ordered 10 Christians evicted from Nonsawang in July to leave the temporary shelters they had built on their rice paddies, Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom (HRWLRF) reported today.”

The CDN story went on to say that Nonsawang village chief Khamsing, identified only by a single name, told the Christians they could only return to their homes or rice paddies if they gave up their faith, according to a spokesman for HRWLRF. The Christians are still refusing to give up their faith but have not yet been evicted from the rice paddies, HRWLRF confirmed today.

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Source: Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST Ministries

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