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Citizen of Lao Punished For Practicing His Christian Faith

The latest case came to light a week after tree U.S. citizens were held for 10 days on suspicion of disseminating bibles and Christian material without government approval, before being deported to neighboring Thailand.

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Agoon, the Lao Christian in an undated photo. RFA

Police have allegedly arrested, beaten and detained a man named Agoon in Savannakhet province in southern Laos for practicing his Christian faith, witnesses told RFA’s Lao Service on Thursday.

Police say that Agoon was arrested for another crime, cutting timber illegally in a protected forest. But local sources say the man was unfairly targeted for his beliefs.

A source who declined to have his name published, told police that he and others cut down trees in the forest at the request of the village leader in the province’s Phin district. But sources say that officials rarely enforce the statutes against illegal logging.

Another source told RFA’s Lao Service in an interview that Agoon’s involvement in the timber-felling is merely an excuse—the other loggers in his group, all of whom are not Christians, were not arrested.

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The latest case came to light a week after tree U.S. citizens were held for 10 days on suspicion of disseminating bibles and Christian material without government approval, before being deported to neighboring Thailand. Pixabay

The villager also said that according to the suspect, while in jail, the police tried to force him to renounce his faith, but he refused. The police responded by beating him harder, slapping his ears to the point that he became unable to hear.

RFA contacted a local security official for details, but the official declined to comment on the matter.

“He was detained for cutting timber illegally. Logging in the protected forest is illegal so [that is why] he has been detained,” said an official from the National Front Organization, which handles religious affairs in the communist nation.

“He has to pay a fine or serve jail time according to forest laws. [His arrest] has nothing to do with religion,” the official said.

A third source who requested anonymity agreed with the villager that charging him for cutting timber was an excuse, as an arrest for his beliefs would stroke the ire of international religious freedom organizations.

The latest case came to light a week after tree U.S. citizens were held for 10 days on suspicion of disseminating bibles and Christian material without government approval, before being deported to neighboring Thailand.

Conflicts between Laos’ small number of Christians and local authorities often flare up because believers assert the right to freedom of worship guaranteed by the country’s constitution, while authorities call Christianity a foreign religion in a traditionally Buddhist country, and say that Christians must move out of their villages.

In 2016, six Christians in Savannakhet’s Phalanxay district were arrested after local authorities entered their house and found that they were practicing the Christian faith.

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Police have allegedly arrested, beaten and detained a man named Agoon in Savannakhet province in southern Laos for practicing his Christian faith, witnesses told RFA’s Lao Service on Thursday. Pixabay

In 2014, local officials in the province’s Song Khone district arrested 11 Christians for building a temporary church without permission.

Also Read:Twitter Users in US More Likely to be Democrats: Study

In Phin district, seven Christians living in Na Kha Nong village, were arrested in 2015 for gathering people together for a prayer meeting.

The U.S. State Department said in a 2017 report that Lao local authorities often arrested or detained members of minority religions during the year, with a district-level official in Houaphan province expelling 26 Hmong Christians from their village, advising them they could return only if they renounced their faith. (RFA)

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Great Reasons To Visit Churches In Rochester NY

Sometimes, you might feel lost, and, as a result, you feel that something is missing in your life. Fortunately, most churches in Rochester, NY, can help people understand and acknowledge their need for fulfillment in Christ

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Churches
Visiting churches in Rochester, NY,  means having interactions with people who are also looking to worship Christ with others. In some cases, there are people who want to be in a community with others throughout their journey of knowing Christ more intimately.  Pixabay

For some people, going to churches is something they don’t think most of the time. Although you don’t have any problems with anyone or anything at church, you might have several reasons why you can’t visit one despite the many options you have in Rochester, New York. Maybe, you prefer to relax after a tiring week, or you have other commitments during Sundays. However, no matter what the circumstances are, going to church is something you can do to find that divine power within you.

Below are the great reasons why you should visit churches in Rochester, NY.

You Want To Worship Christ With Others

As mentioned, visiting churches in Rochester, NY,  means having interactions with people who are also looking to worship Christ with others. In some cases, there are people who want to be in a community with others throughout their journey of knowing Christ more intimately. 

Primarily, churches are considered a community where people like you can connect and support one another. When you visit churches in Rochester, NY, you’re able to make new friends and, more importantly, gain a sense of belongingness. Sometimes, worshipping Christ with other people allows you to fill a need, which you can’t achieve if you’re alone. 

Thus, if you want to be part of a ministry in which you can have a life-changing relationship with Christ, you can visit this site for more information. 

Churches
For some people, going to churches is something they don’t think most of the time. Although you don’t have any problems with anyone or anything at church, you might have several reasons why you can’t visit one despite the many options you have in Rochester, New York.

You Want To Fulfill A Need

Sometimes, you might feel lost, and, as a result, you feel that something is missing in your life. Fortunately, most churches in Rochester, NY, can help people understand and acknowledge their need for fulfillment in Christ. They have pastors and other religious members who can guide your way toward restoring your relationship with Christ. Whenever you feel something is lacking or empty in your life, the people you’re going to meet in these churches can be your support system until you find the one thing that’s been missing.

Moreover, if you’re looking for some direction in life, going to churches can be a perfect way of letting Christ speak to you and hear His Voice in your heart. As you understand Christ’s teachings and receive sermons, you’ll have the opportunity to communicate with Him, address your feeling of emptiness and make a fresh start. 

You Want To Fill Your Life With The Words Of God

A lot of people today prefer to watch preachers through their mobile phones and laptops from the comfort of their homes. And, while it is also an effective way to listen to and absorb the Word of God, you’re missing out on the opportunity of living in close fellowship with other people around you. As a consequence, you may never experience the true mercy and love of Christ, which you can get through your genuine involvement in the local churches in Rochester, NY. 

Remember, listening to the Word of God on a regular basis can inspire you to love and serve 

Christ with all your heart, as well as encourage you to transform the lives of others by living His ways. Because of this, it’s always better to attend church and be physically part of the preaching. 

You Want To Share Your Gift To Others

With so much of Christ’s love in your heart and mind, visiting churches in Rochester, NY, can be an excellent opportunity for you to exercise and share the gift that the Lord has given you.

Just like yourself before, you might also see other people who are lost or have fears of feeling left out; hence, they’ve decided to go to church to seek the love of Christ once again. Because of this, frequent visits to churches would allow you to glorify Him by serving His people with what He has gifted you. 

Most church communities welcome everyone who wants to be part of their congregation. Your willingness to become a blessing to others can be one of your reasons why it’s best to involve yourself in the church community.

You Want To Find The Perfect Church For Your Spiritual Needs

Generally, most churches in Rochester, NY, have the same goal, and that is to worship and serve Christ in love and compassion. However, just like other communities, you need to know and choose which church congregation can fulfill your spiritual needs. 

In such a case, it’s a good idea to visit churches within your locality and see how they can help strengthen your religious dogmas. The more you get to experience how churches work, the more you’ll know which local congregation is the best one for you. 

Churches
Primarily, churches are considered a community where people like you can connect and support one another. When you visit churches in Rochester, NY, you’re able to make new friends and, more importantly, gain a sense of belongingness.

Conclusion

Seeking a dynamic relationship with Christ can be done by listening to sermons, studying His teachings, and becoming part of His ministry. And, when you’re part of a church community, you’re able to honor Him and experience the vitality and passion of the people around you. 

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By keeping the above-mentioned reasons in mind, you’ll become more motivated to visit churches Rochester, NY, thereby fulfilling a need that no other community can.