Originally published in All-Christian News.com
Six Christian families in Laos have had their citizenship and farmland taken by local authorities because they refuse to denounce their faith in God and Christ. Reportedly, the authorities refuse to give back the families papers and land until the 16 members of these families give up their Christian faith, according to Voice of the Martyrs.
Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), a non-profit interdenominational Christian organization, said that authorities confiscated the family’s registration papers last December and shortly afterward, took the deeds to their farmland also.
According to VOM, when two Christian leaders tried to intercede with the president of the Patriotic Front on behalf of the families, they were told that the family’s land and registration papers would only be returned if they renounced their faith in Christ.
VOM, who is helping the families with their daily needs, said that the 16 Christians are willing to die rather than give up their faith. The Lao Patriotic Front is the political wing of the Pathet Lao, a communist nationalist group in Laos founded in 1950 that took control of the country in 1975.
A new government was formed by the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party in 1975, ousting the original Vientiane government who was backed by the United States. In 1977, a communist newspaper promised that the political party would hunt down the families of those who cooperated with the U.S. “to the last root.”
The government of Laos has been accused of working with the Vietnamese army to commit genocide against the Hmong people, an Asian ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. Reportedly, an estimated one fourth of a population of 400,000 Hmong people have been hunted down and killed.
Christian families are being persecuted in Laos because some believe them to be collaborators with the U.S. and Western civilization According to VOM, the authorities regularly destroy Christian villages, homes and churches or moved the people on from village to village.
However, even though the Communist government treats these Christians like second-class citizens, they remain strong in their faith. “They love God and are willing to die for their God any time for any cause,” VOM contacts said.