The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), and a coalition of Lao and Hmong human rights organizations have joined religious freedom advocates and Christian humanitarian organizations, in raising concerns in Washington, D.C. about the abduction and disappearance of a group of Lao Christian pastors at the hands of Lao security officials recently.
(Media-Newswire.com) - The Center for Public Policy Analysis ( CPPA ), and a coalition of Lao and Hmong human rights organizations have joined religious freedom advocates and Christian humanitarian organizations, in raising concerns in Washington, D.C. about the abduction and disappearance of a group of Lao Christian pastors at the hands of Lao security officials recently.
The CPPA has also raised concerns about the expanding crackdown to deny religious freedom in Laos and the Lao regimes massive mobilization of its military and security forces, in cooperation with Vietnam, to persecute, hunt, starve to death and kill thousands of minority Christians and dissident minority religious believers, including Buddhists and animists hiding in the jungle and mountains. http://www.media-newswire.com/release_1063064.html
As of April 4, a group of Christian pastors from Laos were still reported missing in Laos after being arrested by Lao security forces and policy.
There were two groups of Lao Christians pastors that wanted to travel to Thailand. The reportedly were seeking to come into Thailand to attend meetings in mid-March. The first group made it over the Mekong River without any apparent issues. The second group, of some 8 Laotians, however, was reportedly followed by the Lao police security officials according to Voice Of the Martyrs ( Canada ), an religious freedom and Christian advocacy group investigating reports of persecution of Christian believers. http://www.persecution.net/news/laos17.html
Voice of the Martyrs ( Canada ) said the pastors were searched, and all of their belongings were confiscated from them.
The pastors have reportedly been taken back to Laos on March 18, according to VOM but there has been no recent contact with them to confirm their whereabouts, the group added. Many of the Lao Christians pastors were reportedly Laotians from the Khmu ethnic minority.
Religious persecution against Lao and Hmong Christians and religious minorites has dramatically increased in Laos according to the Center for Public Policy Analysis, the Lao Human Rights Council, Lao and Hmong human rights organizations as well as reports by Open Doors USA, Compass Direct News, Christian Freedom International and others.
Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis stated: “Tragically, there is a major crackdown in Laos against religious believers and Christians. Currently, Lao and Vietnamese military and security forces are abducting or attacking and killing religious believers by the hundreds in key areas of Laos, especially dissident Christians and ethnic minority Christian groups who they seek to eliminate or arrest. Some 15,000 unarmed Lao-Hmong civilians, most of whom are dissident Protestant Christians, dissident Catholics and animist believers who would not submit to Lao government controlled and sanctioned churches, pastors and shamans, are being starved to death or facing military attacks by the combined forces of the Lao Peoples Army and Peoples Army of Vietnam ( PAVN ). They will not compromise their faith and they are often unwilling to submit to Lao and Vietnamese government control, oppression and human rights violations. “
Smith continued: “In this unimaginable human catastrophe, many thousands people, including many of the faithful, have fled in despair from the oppression of the Lao regime to the jungles and mountains of Laos because of their religious beliefs, and their desire to live freely and practice freedom of religion outside of the official control of the Lao and Vietnamese security and intelligence services that control the Ministry of Religious Affairs and society. Many people, including religious believers that are being rounded up and killed now, or who are under attack by the military and security forces in the jungles, adopted Christianity while in hiding there; Moreover, it is important to point out, that there are also significant numbers of lowland Lao Buddhists in hiding in the villages, cities and country-side because they refuse to accept the penetration of the Lao temples in their areas by monks controlled by the intelligence and security services of Vietnam and Laos. Vietnam has stepped-up its security force crackdown and massive military mobilization and intervention in Laos following the recent high-level meetings of their defense ministers earlier this year.”
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