6,477,211 (July 2011 est.)
Lao (55), Khmou (11), Hmong (8), other -over 100 minor ethnic groups (26)
Buddhism (57.3), Ethnic Religions (35.0), Non-religious (4.2), Christianity (3.4), Islam (0.1)
President Lt. Gen. Choummali Saignason
Based on traditional customs, French legal norms and procedures, and socialist practice
Statistics provided by CIA World Factbook, Joshua Project and Operation World.
Communist persecution of Christians was especially harsh between 1975 and 1978. Restrictions eased afterward, but churches and Christians are still watched and targeted. Buddhism has regained much of its old influence, but is heavily syncretised with animism. Persecution tends to happen in cycles and is expressed on a local or regional level as much as on a national scale. In all cases, though, it can be intense and ruthless towards the Church. Missionaries are forbidden.
In early 2010, 48 Christians were forced from their homes in Katin village, Saravan province. Officials confiscated personal belongings and later destroyed six homes. When the Christians refused to renounce their faith, they were forced to walk six kilometers outside their village and were left by the side of the road. In December 2010, officials and residents of Katin destroyed rice paddies farmed by 11 Christian families previously living in the village. The destruction followed the expulsion of another seven. In January 2011, 11 Christians were arrested at gunpoint, and three house church leaders were charged for “holding a secret meeting,” a political offence punishable by law.
- Pray for strength and courage for Christians as they continue to face pressure and imprisonment for their faith.
- Pray for the government of Laos—that those in power will continue to improve policies and activities, recognizing the need for freedom for all their citizens.
Persecution News - LaosChristians arrested, dismissed from jobs
(July 12, 2012)
Police arrest pastor for spreading faith
(June 14, 2012)
Mother expels Christian children from home
(May 31, 2012)
Update: Orphans remain faithful
(April 26, 2012)
Officials arrest five Christians in southern village
(April 05, 2012)
Update: Seven imprisoned Christian leaders freed
(February 16, 2012)
Officials force Christians to recant
(January 05, 2012)