Elderly Couple Kicked Out of Their Home and Village Due to Their Embracing the Christian Faith

Chumpoy Village, Sanamsai District, Attapeu Province
Advocacy Alert No. 02/2013
February 15, 2013

Approximately on January 23, 3012, the chief of Chumpoy village (Mr. Sompeng), Sanamsai district, Attapeu province, issued a written eviction order to Mr. Sakien, age 52, and his wife, Dong, because they sought prayers for physical healing and then embraced the Christian faith. They are currently being denied the right to return to their home in Chumpoy village. They are presently seeking refuge in Intee village (formerly Somsuk village) in Sanamsai district. Sakien is still very ill and in need of medical treatment. He and Dong are being provided a temporary shelter in an unfinished church building (without walls) in Intee village.

In December 2012, Mr. Sanien (Sakien’s son) and his wife (Mrs. Pitsamai) went to Intee village church and sought prayers for physical healing for Pitsamai’s physical illness due to childbirth. At Intee village church, Sanien and Pitsamai embraced the Christian faith and later returned to Chumpoy village and told Sakien about Pitsamai’s physical healing and their newly embraced faith. Thus around January 10, 2013, Sakien and Dong also went to Intee village and sought prayers for physical healing and embraced the Christian faith. Thus, on January 23, 2013, Chumpoy village chief issued the eviction order that they be denied residency in Chumpoy village due to their decision to exercise their religious right to embrace the Christian faith. They were ordered not to return to Chumpoy village. Instead, they were told to go and find places to live where there are Christians because Chumpoy village does not welcome or allow followers of the Christian faith.

The HRWLRF is calling on the Lao government to allow Sakien and his wife to return to their home in Chumpoy village. Also their religious right to choose the religion of their choice should be respected. In addition, the HRWLRF is urging the Lao government to punish Chumpoy village chief SOMPENG for illegally issued an eviction order that has now resulted in Sakien and his wife experiencing hardship as well as defamation of their name and honor.

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