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Bountheung Phetsomphone and his friend - Photo: VOM USA
Bountheung Phetsomphone
(right) and his friend
Photo: VOM USA

Nang Tookta Phetsomphone is a Christian girl who worked for a Chinese national but quit when he failed to pay her wages. A month later, he asked her to return to the store, promising to pay her. When she arrived, he forced her into a restroom and pulled out a knife, threatening to kill her unless she submitted to him. Somehow, in the midst of the struggle, her attacker was stabbed and killed.

Immediately following the incident, Tookta reported what took place and was detained. Eventually she was released from provincial custody without charge, but district authorities refused to drop the case and continued to detain her. These authorities are demanding that her family leave their Christian faith and pay a large monetary restitution to the family of her attacker. They will only "consider" releasing her if the family complies. At last report, Tookta has not been able to talk to any family members nor obtain legal representation.

Tookta's father has faced legal problems for his work as pastor for many years. It is believed that the charges against Tookta are another way of punishing Bountheung and his family for their Christian faith and witness. In 2012, he was detained after refusing an order to leave the village. In 2015, Bountheung was again arrested for "spreading the Christian faith." For more on his situation, review this report.

Please prayerfully uphold Tookta as she deals with the trauma of this horrific attack, as well as the serious charges against her. Pray that the district authorities of this Communist country will drop the charges and cease their oppression of Laotians who are endeavouring to minister to the spiritual and practical needs of others in their communities. In fact, may the outreach of the Gospel in Laos continue to touch many lives -- resulting in a great harvest of souls.