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Recent persecution of Christians in Laos

Catholic World News - January 10, 2012

In Laos--a Communist nation where 67% of the population is Buddhist, and only 2% are Christian--authorities in some villages of Savannakhet Province, which is located in the south-central part of the nation, are persecuting Christians, according to Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom.

In the village of Natoo, authorities recently ordered 47 Christians to renounce their faith or face expulsion. In the village of Huey, authorities refused to allow a Christian to be buried. In Boukham, village leaders have tortured and detained seven Christian leaders in stocks on charges of subverting local customs.

In adjacent Khammouan Province, officials released two pastors after a year in prison; they had been charged with organizing a Christmas celebration.

The nation of 6.5 million is 0.7% Catholic; 17 priests minister in 77 parishes, according to Vatican statistics.

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