Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Open Doors: Laos (Direct Post)

Christians Pressured to Renounce Faith

LAOS - Confronted with evidence of rights abuses, an official in Champasak province, Laos, said district officials had “misunderstood” religious freedom regulations when they arrested and detained two men for converting to Christianity, according to Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom (HRWLRF). District police officers, in cooperation with the village chief, arrested Khambarn Kuakham and Phoun Koonlamit on Sept. 8, accusing them of “believing in Christianity, a foreign religion,” HRWLRF reported.

The Lao Movement for Human Rights confirmed that both men had been placed in criminal detention for five days and ordered to renounce their faith. According to Compass Direct News, officials warned Kuakham that he had violated the terms of his employment by having contact with Christians and converting to the Christian faith. He must renounce his faith in order to return to his teaching position, they said. If he refused, he would face a lengthy detention. Read more about persecution in Laos on our website.

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