Laos (MNN) — A pastor in Laos has been released after spending a year in prison. He was convicted of “creating disorder” after holding church services without permission.
“This particular pastor happens to be a part of a network that is actually in the sanctioned church. In Laos, there is a sanctioned, government-based church. And then there’s an underground church. Of course, the underground church is much larger, and usually is the one that gets more pressure, because they’re not endorsed by the government. It’s just a very unwieldy situation. And even the sanctioned churches get cracked down on in the country.”
Persecution and evangelism
evangelHandley says the sanctioned church can preach the Gospel inside their churches. Outside, the government does not allow them to proclaim Jesus openly.
But persecution can sometimes have a positive effect. A church leader said this to Handley:
“If any of us do something that they think is out of line, or they want to come down on us, they oftentimes will put us in jail or beat us up. And what happens is everyone in the community is curious. Why would they do such a mean thing to this nice person? And so it actually leads to more people coming to Christ.”
Listen to the broadcast (story starts at 1:29)
- This story by Kevin Zeller was originally published on 28-Apr-2021 by Mission Network News:
- Download the audio file: https://s3.amazonaws.com/a2-media/audio/4-5min-Apr28-2021.mp3
- Image credit: The header photo shows Christians in Laos who had their houses torn down by local authorities. (Photo courtesy of Asian Access)
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