April 10, 2012
Officials last week confiscated and sealed a church building in southern Laos after holding a two-day seminar warning against religious belief, Compass Direct News reports. Besides sealing the church building in Khamnonsung -- a village in the Saybuly district of Savannakhet province -- officials also warned that other unrecognized churches in the district would soon be shut down. All villages in the district were ordered by a local Communist Party official, the district deputy police chief and the district head of religious affairs to attend the seminar from April 3rd through 5th titled "Tricks of the Enemy," during which, according to villagers present, officials declared that Westerners, particularly those from the U.S., were using Christian faith to destabilize the government. They then declared that the 745 Christians in Khamnonsung could only meet in private homes -- claiming that the Khamnonsung church building had been constructed without proper permission when it was built in 1963.