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Pastor Sithong - Photo: Radio Free Asia www.rfa.org
Pastor Sithong at a wedding in 2018.
Photo: Radio Free Asia

On March 15th, 2020, Pastor Sithong Theppavong was approached by authorities who demanded that he agree to no longer hold worship services at a small church in Savannakhet Province, Laos (see this report). When Pastor Sithong refused, he was arrested without charge. Earlier this spring, those familiar with his situation were concerned that he was no longer alive since there had been no news of his whereabouts. (To read this previously posted report, visit this page.)

More than a year after his original detention, Pastor Sithong finally stood trial for "creating disorder" by holding church services without permission. On April 6th, 2021, he was convicted and sentenced to one year's imprisonment. He was also given a fine of $522 CAD. However, since Pastor Sithong already spent more than a year in prison, it was determined during the recent hearing that his sentence has been fully served, resulting in his release.

In reference to the release, a Laotian Christian states: "We have prayed for Pastor Sithong for more than a year now. We're very excited that he's still alive.... He may have been sick and frail in prison, but now he'll be very happy to be able to serve God again."

Praise God that Pastor Sithong survived his time in prison, and that he has been freed and reunited with his family. Please pray for his complete healing, both physically and emotionally, as he now reintegrates into his community. Further, ask the Lord to provide him continued ministry opportunities and, in the process, equip and embolden this persevering pastor as he seeks to compassionately and effectively reach the people of Laos with the message of the Gospel.

Current Ministry Project

VOMC is working with an international partner to provide New Testaments to persecuted Christians, new believers, and those who are earnestly seeking Christ. We believe that the Word of God is a vital tool in combating persecution by helping believers grow in maturity to the fullness of Christ.

Project Fund: Bibles

Country Information

Population
7,234,171 (July 2018 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Lao (53.2), Khmou (11), Hmong (9.2), Phouthay (3.4), Tai (3.1), Makong (2.5), Katong (2.2), Lue (2), Akha (1.8), other (11.6)

Religion (%)
Buddhism (64.7), Christianity (1.7), none (31.4), unspecified (2.1)

Leader
President Bounnyang Vorachit

Government type
Communist state

Legal system
Civil law system similar in form to the French system

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Laos

Pray for strength and courage for Christians as they continue to face pressure and imprisonment for their faith.

Pray for the government of Laos -- that those in power will continue to improve policies and activities, recognizing the need for freedom for all their citizens.

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Laos News

  • Detained Pastor Confirmed Alive and Released
    Pastor Sithong - Photo: Radio Free Asia www.rfa.org
    Pastor Sithong at a wedding in 2018.
    Photo: Radio Free Asia

    On March 15th, 2020, Pastor Sithong Theppavong was approached by authorities who demanded that he agree to no longer hold worship services at a small church in Savannakhet Province, Laos (see this report). When Pastor Sithong refused, he wa

    ...
  • Imprisoned Pastor's Family Facing Harassment
    A road in Laos - Pixabay / anniikaa

    Earlier in 2020, it was reported that Sithong Theppavong, the pastor of a small church in a farming area of Savannakhet Province, received repeated warnings to cease his ministry. On March 15th, 2020, he was arrested without any indication of charges. For more details on his arrest, visit VOMC's pr

    ...
  • Christians Forced to Flee Their Homes
    A forest in Laos - Photo: Pixabay

    Local authorities in the Laotian province of Salavan chased seven Christians from their homes, forcing them to live within makeshift huts in the woods, all because these believers refused to renounce their faith. The Christians were members of two families from the village of Pasing-Kang. Since thei

    ...
  • Girl Facing Charges After Resisting Attack
    Nang Tookta Phetsomphone

    To date, Nang Tookta Phetsomphone has spent almost six months in a Laotian prison after her former employer was stabbed and killed during his attempt to rape the young woman. In order to be released from custody, her family must pay a fine of $11,000 USD and renounce their faith in Christ. Since our

    ...