The header photo shows Christians in Laos who had their houses torn down by local authorities. (Photo courtesy of Asian Access)

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.

Christians in this Southeast Asian country often experience persecution at the hands of their neighbors or the communist government. Joe Handley of Asian Access says:

“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)

Direct Link:


More Information

Mission Network News ( Network News exists to inform multitudes about stories that matter and empowers them to take action that changes lives. Join over 1 million radio and internet users each day. Hear stories of what God is doing around the world – and how you can be involved. Each MNN broadcast includes pray, give, or go opportunities that help you find your place in the story. Sign up at to receive daily news in your inbox. Or check out MNN on social media and share them with others. MNN is a ministry of OneWay Ministries.