Government officials and village authorities are at odds over a Christian village in Laos where these families are being threatened with exile if they don’t denounce their faith.
A story by Morning Star News reported that the Christians from eight families in Natahall village, in Savannakhet Province’s Phin District, were told to renounce their faith three months ago, according to a representative with Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom (HRWLRF).
“The threats are very real … Officials are still intending to carry out the threats. The deadline for expulsion has passed,” said the HRWLRF source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The source added, “Christian residents of Natahall village are fighting hard to keep their homes as well as their constitutionally guaranteed right to believe in the Christian faith.”
On March 11, the village chief and area police called the families into a meeting ordering them once again to renounce their faith in Christ.
“We fought to get rid of the Americans, and now you are bringing their religion into our homes,” a local official said.
The demands of village contradicts article 30 of the 1991 nation’s constitution which says, “Lao citizens have the right and freedom to believe or not to believe in religions.”