Across the country, violence rose substantially this year over last year – a shocking increase even for a place used to physical threats. Christians were kicked out of their communities, their homes were destroyed, and they endured so much for following Jesus.
At the local level, Communist authorities heavily monitor religious activities in some parts of the country. In these areas, church leaders reported cases of local authorities closing down house churches, which are technically illegal. But even among registered churches, they are monitored.
Converts to Christianity carry additional vulnerabilities. Because they’re seen as traitors to their communities who have angered the spirits, they can face pressure and violence from their families and local authorities. Families have been known to stir up the local community, who often expel converts from their homes and villages.
“When I hear of someone being persecuted, I go to them right away because I don’t want them to give up their faith in God. I’m afraid they will forsake God, which will be very discouraging… I ask what their needs are, and I discuss this with my church and with same-hearted people just like Open Doors to help these believers and deliver their needs.”
Maixay (name changed), a believer in Laos.
What does Open Doors do to help?
Open Doors’ local partners strengthen persecuted believers in Laos by providing Christian materials, leadership and discipleship training, socio-economic development programmes, advocacy support and emergency relief.