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Laos
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Overview:

The Communist government, in conjunction with Buddhist monks, persecutes Christians, with the exception of the government-controlled Lao Evangelical Church. Poverty, lack of infrastructure and mountainous terrain make evangelistic outreach challenging. Thanks to bold evangelists, churches continue to grow even as they experience ongoing persecution.

Major Religion:

60 percent of Laotians consider themselves to be Buddhists, but most practice a syncretistic version of Buddhism mixed with tribal animism. 4 percent are Christians, including 3 percent evangelicals.

Persecutor:

Most believers are persecuted by family members or village authorities concerned that Christians offend the spirits, and the central government restricts Christian activity.

What It Means To Follow Christ In Laos:

Some in Laos, particularly those in government leadership, view Christianity as a foreign religion and a tool used by the West to undermine the Communist Laotian regime. There are many house churches and some church buildings, but the vast majority do not have a trained pastor. Laotian authorities sometimes arrest Christians and hold them for up to a week in attempts to control Christian activity. Christians are commonly denied medical treatment as well as educational and other social services.

Access To Bibles:

Bibles are not sold in bookstores. Government-sanctioned churches sell Bibles, and other organizations are able to bring Bibles in with legal permission. But the government restricts and opposes Bible and Christian literature distribution of any significant size. Give Bibles

VOM Work:

VOM distributes Bibles, prints Christian literature and provides audio devices containing Scripture and discipleship resources. VOM also responds to persecution incidents by relocating families inside Laos and providing food and other needs. Give to VOM’s Global Ministry

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for the wisdom of front-line workers who boldly witness for Christ.
  • Pray for the 200 ethnic subgroups in Laos.
  • Pray for unity among the new generation of Christian leaders despite their differing ethnicities.
  • Pray that training sessions will encourage and strengthen new believers.
  • Pray for the spread of the gospel among Buddhists.
  • Pray that village leaders will follow the law that allows people the right to become Christians.
  • Pray for the wisdom of Christian workers, who are often at great risk.
  • Pray for young Christian leaders who are studying to serve in churches.
  • Pray for Khmu Christians who oversee outreach to the Hmong, Mien, Bru, and Prai people groups.
  • Pray that the 60 unreached people groups will hear the gospel.