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May 21, 2020 at 7:56 am #14342AnonymousInactive
Persecution has been happening in Laos under a communist government for a long time. Laos is under a lot of influence from other Asian countries such as China, Burma, and Vietnam. Because of this influence, the main religion is Buddhism but it also has a lot of tribal animism (the belief that everything has a spirit) mixed in. This seems to be similar to the worship of many gods that the Romans believed. In a lot of the villages and tribes they also believe, like the Romans did, that the Christians are the ones who anger the spirits and that is why they experience misfortune. The Laotians see Christianity as a foreign North American religion that is being used to undermine the communist regime, similar to how the Emperors saw Christianity as a rebellion against order and devotion to them. One thing that the Laotian government does to maintain a good relationship with other countries is that they say they allow religious freedom. They allow churches to become registered religious organizations as long as they have a church building and a registered minister. The only problem with this ruling is that it is next to impossible for Christians to buy land to build a church or become a registered minister and if it does become a registered church, it is then run by the government which they can use to put pressure on the Christians. The only way many Christians can meet is in illegal gatherings in homes which may be destroyed if they are discovered meeting there, just like the early Christians. The difference between these times is that with the early Christians, they faced death; with the Laotian Christians they mostly face being arrested, chased out of their villages, and in some cases, receive beatings. If they are arrested they will typically be released after about a week as they have nothing to be convicted of. Other types of persecution happen without violence. They are refused health care, jobs (which are usually provided by the government), education and other social services, and are not allowed to get water from the village well.May 21, 2020 at 12:53 pm #14351AnonymousInactive
It is really sad that there is so much confusion and acceptance of false religions. Christianity has definitely faced many challenges and much persecution throughout the years. Do other religions face just as much persecution? The government has so much control with the churches and in this way force Christians to work illegally. It is definitely interesting to see how much influence countries have on each other, especially when they are so close together. One other thing that I found interesting was the similarities between the problems in the church then and now, things might look a little different but the root of the issue is exactly the same.
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