LAOS — Last year, three Christians in Laos, Southeast Asia were arrested because of their faith. Here, they recount their experiences – and how they knew God was with them. As one of them told an Open Doors partner, “Even when I was in prison, I felt I was not alone. I felt your prayers.”
“On the day I was arrested, I had just come home after a day at the rice field when the police came. They put me in their truck. I had to sleep in the vehicle. They did not give me food or drink. The following morning they transferred me to jail where I was interrogated and they told me over and over to deny my faith. When I wouldn’t they imprisoned me for three months.”
In a remote part of Laos , three Christians were jailed in August 2020 because of their boldness in sharing the gospel. First to be arrested was Sanegchan, then his younger brother Sithat, followed by their uncle Sombaht.
“Authorities including the village chief said that Christianity is a foreign religion. They said they are afraid for we have angered the spirits. And it will give them bad luck because we have become Christians.
In a 3-by-3 metre cell the number of prisoners can differ, but normally there are seven. Each day, new prisoners were added. I asked my oldest son to bring us food every day, but only a little reached us, as other prisoners would eat some of it. The police never told us how long we would have to be there.
Meanwhile their families had to cope not only with the absence of their husbands and fathers but also with mocking from villagers.
Paojer*, Sithat’s wife:
The people here do not accept their village practicing two religions, they want everyone to worship their ancestors and not Christ. People seemed happy when my husband was arrested. Every time they saw me the would smirk with satisfaction. Our neighbours would shut their doors when they saw me passing by. They treated us like we were nobody, less than humans.
However Open Doors local partners kept in constant touch with the families during this time. They ministered to them through prayer and provided necessities like clothing and food.
I am grateful for the help I have received from you our foreign brothers and sisters in Christ. With God’s love we were able to receive financial support and encouragement. It means a lot that you are here for us always providing care and support.
Even when I was in prison I felt I was not alone. I felt your prayers. I can’t thank you enough for being with our families and our children when we couldn’t provide for them practically. Thank you for praying for us then and now.
With the help of our church, who lobbied our case to the higher court, and through your prayers and financial support, we were freed from jail. Our village chief and the community treat us better now. I don’t know how long this will last, but it is very different now. Persecution has decreased from before we were imprisoned.
God is high and mighty and His power is great. And above all things, in everything He is in control. No matter what happens. I will follow Him for the rest of my life.
About Open Doors UK
Open Doors is a non-denominational mission that supports persecuted Christians in over 70 countries where Christianity is socially or legally discouraged or oppressed. In their work, they provide vital support, training, and resources to those facing persecution or discrimination.
Resources that they provide include distributing Bibles and literature, running leadership training, assisting with socio-economic development and intercessory prayer. They also help victims of violence and disaster, including widows and orphans, with practical support such as relief aid, livelihood support, and community development projects.
Their vision is of a world in which every Christian who is persecuted is remembered and supported by other Christians. They pray for a world where there is no persecution.
Source: Global News Alliance, In Chains For Christ in Laos