Lao Churches in Saybuli District Struggle to Reclaim Confiscated Church Properties

Dongpaiwan, Nadaeng, Kengweng and Khamnonsung Villages, Saybuli District, Savannakhet Province
Advocacy Alert No. 10/2012
April 15, 2012

After spending months complying with the orders of the Lao officials and making written petitions to government offices, requesting for the return of their church buildings (which were confiscated by Lao authorities), Nadaeng Church and Kengweng Church are still being denied entrance into their church buildings for worship services. Last Sunday morning, members of Dongpaiwan Church worshipped in a house adjacent to their confiscated church building. Meanwhile, Khamnonsung Church has continued to ignore the April 5th (2012) directive of the Saybuli District officials, ordering them to vacate their church building. Last Sunday, they still conducted worship services inside the confiscated church building.

Today, Sunday morning, April 15th (local time), Khamnonsung Church still holds worship services inside the confiscated building of the church for the second straight week, while Dongpaiwan Church conducts Sunday services on property outside of the confiscated church building. At the same time, Kengweng Church assembles for prayer and worship in a place adjacent to the confiscated church building. Meanwhile, under the advice of the Lao Evangelical Church denomination, Nadaeng Church still waits for their Lao officials to return their church property.

Members of Khamnonsung Church continue to resist the official order to close down their church and are willing to risk their own safety as well as the safety of their families in order to defend religious freedom.

The HRWLRF urges the Lao government respect Lao Christians’ freedom to manifest their religion or belief in worship as guaranteed by the Lao constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as ratified by the Lao government.


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