As persecution increases, American advocates bring relief to those who are suffering for their faith
Contact: Amy Jo Jones, Christian Freedom International, 906-253-2336
VIENTIANE, LAOS, Feb. 13 /Christian Newswire/ -- Christian Freedom International (CFI), a U.S.-based organization that provides humanitarian aid and political advocacy for persecuted Christians around the world, is on location in the Lao People's Democratic Republic delivering Bibles and relief aid to dozens of suffering Christians.
CFI president Jim Jacobson and other CFI personnel are making the delivery to impoverished Christians in remote villages, where access to medical care and other basic necessities are virtually impossible -- particularly for those who profess the Christian faith.
Christianity is viewed as the number one "enemy of the state" in Laos, a country that is one of the last remaining Communist states in the world. Its Christians have continued to suffer under mounting persecution in recent years, including the confiscation of homes, property and churches, the arrest and imprisonment of pastors, forced renunciation of the faith, and even the threat of execution.
Hmong Christians have especially become targets for attack by the Laotian government, in a vicious genocidal campaign that has included forced starvation and the use of chemical weapons. Although its constitution supports religious freedom for all citizens, Laos has consistently ranked among the top 10 countries cited for human rights abuses, and has even openly declared its intent to "eliminate Christianity."
But the faith has continued to thrive despite the government's rising hostility, even as many believers risk imprisonment by gathering to worship in illegal underground churches. The severe restrictions have also caused a widespread shortage of Bibles in the country, leaving many Laotian Christians without access to copies of the Scriptures.
CFI has repeatedly sent medical and dental teams into Laos, along with Bibles and food supplies, for Christians who have no access to healthcare and other resources. The organization's current trip to the region comes immediately after a week-long mission in Burma, where supplies were delivered to persecuted Karen and Karenni refugees.
CFI also operates a microenterprise program in Laos and Burma, as well as several other countries, which enables impoverished Christians to generate personal income through the sale of their handcraft products in the United States.
CFI encourages the international community and its leaders to call on the Laotian government to end the mistreatment of its Christian citizens. For more information, visit Christian Freedom International online at www.christianfreedom.org.