Laos: New Tactics Used to Evict Khmu Christian Families

Friday, March 10, 2006

Laos (Voice of the Martyrs) -- A VOM contact report from Laos announced the confiscation of the homes and fields of 15 Khmu Christian families living in the village of Ban Nam Haeng, Muang Baeng District, Udomxai Province. This comes after local officials of the Laotian communist government unsuccessfully attempted to evict the Christian families last year. Earlier this month, the anti-Christian leader of the village resorted to posting hand-written notices on the doors of Christian houses, stating that all of their farm land was being confiscated and given to other village members.

The following is a translation of one of the eviction notices: “The land of ‘Mr. X,’ who is a Christian, is now confiscated and been given to ‘Mr. Y’ and ‘Mr. Z.’ Even though ‘Mr. X’ has farmed this land and prepared it for planting this year, he cannot work this land anymore.” Christians are praying that these notices will not be followed by force and violence to carry out the evictions.

Communist leaders have used Lao’s “New Mechanism” program to force Christians out of their districts for not converting to Buddhism or animism. If they refuse to sign documentation renouncing their faith in Christ, their property is often seized, destroyed or transferred to non-Christians. Many non-Christian village leaders and residents are now adopting and enforcing this oppressive policy in their own locales.