BosNewsLife - Christian News Agency

By BosNewsLife Asia Service

Churches grow in Laos, despite reported persecution.

VIENTIANE, LAOS (BosNewsLife)-- Lao authorities have released four Christians, including two Thai citizens, who were detained in June after being caught explaining the Bible to at least one Lao man, rights activists confirmed late Friday, August 24.

Thai Christians Jonasa Wiwatdamrong, 54, and his brother Phanthakorn, 40, were among those detained June 16 in the village of Luang Namtha Phone Sampan in the Long District of northern Luang Namtha province, explained Sirikoon Prasertsee, director of Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom (HRWLRF).

Britain-based advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said in a statement that it learned Friday, August 24, that the police released the four men after forcing them to "pay a small fine."

While there were no official charges brought against them, their supporters linked the six-week detention to their involvement in Bible study.


CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said that while his group "welcomes the release of these four men" it remained concerned "that their arrest is part of a pattern of religious repression that continues to occur in many parts of the country."

He said that in Luang Namtha province alone, Christians in at least 15 villages have reported similar cases of harassment by the Lao authorities.

Lao government officials have reportedly expressed concerns that there are an estimated 200,000 devoted Christians in the Communist-run Asian nation, where most of the 6.4 million people are Buddhists.

"We urge the Lao authorities to adhere to international standards on religious freedom both at the national and provincial level,” Thomas stressed.

Lao officials were not known to have commented on the case of the four men who were released. It was not immediately clear what role, if any, the Thai embassy had played in their reported release.

2 Responses to “NEWS ALERT: Laos Frees 4 Lao, Thai Christians Jailed For Bible Study”

  1. Fr Richard Says:

    Wonderful I had written to the Lao,Thai, Canadian,EU Governments concerning this and it is good news . Thank you God.

  2. Stefan Bos Says:

    Dear Mr. Richard,

    I am sure that the Lao Christians are very happy that you wrote to the governments; the international pressure clearly played a role in their release.

    God bless you,

    Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife

Leave a Reply

  • You are a few clicks away from helping BosNewsLife to remain the voice of the voiceless. Thank you for standing with us.

  • Support Us
    BosNewsLife covers the trials and triumphs of those suffering for their faith. That news is free to read. We want the world to be aware of those whose voices may never be heard in other media. But that doesn't mean we don't have serious expenses to operate. Would you consider supporting our news agency by sending a donation?