2 September, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 09/07/2004
LAOS
Violence against Christians in Vientiane and Luang Phrabang

Paris (AsiaNews/AFP) – Four Christian Laotians ended up in jail after refusing to abjure their faith. According to an exiled Laotian group in Paris, their arrest is part of a wider campaign orchestrated by the Laotian Communist regime against religious groups.

The Laotian Movement for Human Rights (Mouvement laotien pour les droits de l'homme or MLDH) has accused the Laotian government of pursing "a campaign of repression" against Christians living in Kasy, a district not far from the Laotian capital of Vientiane. The MLDH reported that eight Christian families belonging to the Khmu ethnic minority were forced to sign a document renouncing their faith. Two other Christians, known only by their first names of Khamphay and Pheng, refused to sign and have been languishing in Kasy prison since August 2. In Ban Viengsamay, another village in Kasy district, the authorities expelled all Christian residents. The human rights group has also reported that since August 11Christians in Savannaketh province are no longer allowed to gather for prayer meetings. Furthermore, the campaign to force Christians to give up their faith has now reached Nam Bak district near the royal city of Luang Phrabang.

In light of such events, the MLDH has called on the Laotian government to "free all detained Christians" and allow international observers into the country to determine its human rights situation.

Laos was taken over by Pathet Lao communist guerrillas in 1975. After the successful seizure of power the new Communist regime expelled all foreign missioners and persecuted religion. Since 1991 the renamed Lao People's Revolutionary Party has being implementing a so-called centralised democracy.

Despite loosening its grip on the economy in recent years, the regime has maintained tight control over Laotian society, including religious life. Christians have been singled out for an eradication campaign as "followers of a foreign religion". Although worship is possible under very strict conditions, any kind of proselytising or spreading the Christian message is strictly forbidden.

Out of a population of 5.8 million, nearly half of all Laotians are Buddhist whilst animists are just over 40 per cent. There are also about 100,000 Catholics and Protestants, less than 2 per cent of the total.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
12/22/2011 LAOS
Eight Lao Christians in prison for Christmas
02/08/2005 IRAN
No more court martial for Protestant clergyman who converted from Islam
11/03/2004 PAKISTAN
Blasphemy law: death threats against teenage girl forces family to flee
11/12/2004 VIETNAM
Protestant clergyman sentenced to three years in prison
04/21/2006 LAOS
Christian arrested for refusing to recant

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.