As Gospel Spreads in Laos, so Does Opposition
Kaipo had fled his native Laos after his father called police to arrest him for becoming a Christian. Taking refuge at a native Lao ministry on the other side of the border with Thailand, he asked its director whether he should return home.
The 17-year-old’s father, an influential witchdoctor in the village, had thrown Kaipo and all his belongings out of their house after learning that he had left their ancestral rituals. Kaipo had put his faith in Christ after listening to the native ministry’s radio broadcast with his uncle and studying the Bible and lessons on an MP3 player.
He had spent several weeks studying the Bible with the ministry leader on the Thai border when he asked if he should return home.
“Yes, you can,” the ministry leader said. “And witness to them about Jesus again.”
Within two weeks, officials put him in jail, saying he would not be released until his wife and others recanted their faith in Jesus.
Kaipo went home and, with his uncle’s help, persuaded his parents and several others to listen to the gospel content on the MP3 player. He and his uncle shared their experience of Christ as well, and his parents and 11 others put their faith in Christ.
“I got a phone call from Kaipo’s father, Palani,” the ministry director said. “He was so excited to tell me that he had accepted Christ.”
Within two weeks, local authorities put Palani in jail, telling his wife and others that he would not be released until his wife and others recanted their faith in Jesus.
“But none of them did renounce, and Palani did not renounce either, even though they had been Christians for less than one month,” the director said.
Authorities released Palani after six weeks, and the 45-year-old father of seven also went to the border to study the Bible with the ministry director. At a seminar with his son and other disciples, he publicly repented for mistreating Kaipo.
“I did not know who Jesus is, only that people told me this Jesus religion is dangerous, that the government and all the people don’t like it, and also it is an American religion,” he said. “I am so sorry for what I did to my son.”
In another village, six families were expelled from their homes, with some of them relocating to other areas – a typical measure of how the gospel is taking root in Lao society.
Palani is eager to lead as many people as possible to Christ, though his son can no longer return to the village as he would be arrested.
They are two of 730 people who have decided to follow Christ as a result of the ministry’s recent outreaches, and house churches are mushrooming in many villages as native missionaries follow Christ’s call to make disciples. Please consider a gift today to help them bring the message of eternal life in Christ to people trapped in great darkness.