Laos – Officials announce ban on Christianity in village

Compass Direct News. Following the confiscation of livestock from Christian families earlier this month, officials in a village in Laos on Saturday July 11 called a special meeting for all residents and announced that they had “banned the Christian faith in our village.” The chief of Katin village, along with village security, social and religious affairs officials, warned all 53 Christian residents that they should revert to worshiping local spirits in accordance with Lao tradition or risk losing all village rights and privileges – including their livestock and homes, according to advocacy group Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom (HRWLRF). The Katin village leader also declared that spirit worship was the only acceptable form of worship in the community, HRWLRF reported. Katin village is in Ta Oih district, Saravan Province. The previous Sunday (July 5), officials and residents confiscated one pig each from nine Christian families and slaughtered the animals in an effort to force them to renounce their faith. Officials said the seizure of the pigs – each worth the equivalent of six weeks’ salary for an average laborer in the area – was punishment for ignoring the order to abandon Christianity.

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