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December 2014

Six Christians, including a three-year-old girl, who were arrested after meeting for worship in Laos were released in October, Barnabas Fund has reported.

Pastor Sompong Supatto, who was arrested with them, had remained in custody for weeks, handcuffed and held in leg stocks.

The believers were arrested on 28 September in Boukham village, Savannakhet province, as they met for lunch at Pastor Sompong’s home after a morning worship service.

According to reports from group Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom, the arrests followed an announcement made a week earlier by village officials that the Christians were no longer allowed to meet for worship.

Christians in Boukham had been meeting together for 3-4 years and, although Laos’ constitution provides for religious freedom, local authorities often do not uphold this. The central government, which promotes Buddhism as a part of national identity, rarely overrules this illegality, as Christianity is seen as a threat to national unity.


Picture: Mekong River, Savannakhet, Laos

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