Fears grow for missing Christian in Laos – Union of Catholic Asian News
A Christian man in Laos who was seized by local authorities last March after he refused to desist from practicing his faith remains missing nearly a year later with his whereabouts unknown, according to foreign Christian groups.
Sithong Theppavong, a farmer in the village of Ban Kaleum Vang Khi in the communist nation’s Savannakhet province, reportedly started a small church on his property, which caught the attention of local authorities who warned him to cease his ministry.
After Sithong failed to comply despite a formal official request, he was detained on March 15 and no one was allowed to visit him, according to the international Christian organization The Voice of the Martyrs, which campaigns on behalf of persecuted believers worldwide.
When the Christian villager’s wife continued making inquiries about her missing husband, local authorities began to harass her. They also confiscated her motorcycle to make it harder for her to get about, foreign Christian rights activists say.
“Anyone who asks about their situation is also investigated. Concern is growing that he [Sithong] may not even be alive,” says International Christian Concern, an ecumenical Christian organization based in Washington, DC.
Around the communist and predominantly Buddhist nation of 7 million, Christians account for 2 percent of the population, with