Lao police arrest local pastor for sharing faith comment (0)
June 28, 2012
PEEYEUR, Laos — A 53-year-old Lao pastor remains behind bars after Lao police arrested him June 6 for encouraging others to convert to Christianity, a spokesman from the group Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom (HRWLRF) confirmed.
The arrest of Asa, identified by only a single name, took place around 4 p.m. at his home in Peeyeur village, Luang Namtha Province, according to HRWLRF.
Police then drove Asa to the Luang Namtha provincial prison, some 31 miles away — too far to allow visits from concerned family members or friends who have limited access to road transport. If normal procedure had been followed, HRWLRF said, police would have held Asa in a village or district prison for three days while they investigated charges against him.
On June 7, Khamla, a prominent Christian leader in the province, met with police and discovered that Asa had been charged with leading people to Christ. Two years ago police forced Asa to sign documents agreeing that he would neither proclaim Christ nor lead people to Christianity.
This year, however, many people in Peeyeur and surrounding villagers, touched by Asa’s life and testimony, have accepted Christ. Authorities in southern Laos have also continued to threaten, interrogate and arrest Christians.