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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.

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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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What is the Symbolic Element Christening Gowns in Christendom?

Significance of Baptism in Christian tradition

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baptism is a highly-revered Christian ceremony that has a lot of symbolism. Pixabay

First of all, baptism is a highly-revered Christian ceremony with a lot of symbolism that is traced to biblical times. We will tell you a story that will both excite as well as educate you on the origin of this highly symbolic Christian tradition.

According to Christian beliefs, everyone born on earth comes with the ‘original sin.’ The history of this concept is traceable to the biblical story about the origin of mankind.

Where It All Began

It’s said that when God created the world, he created a man called Adam and later created his wife called Eve from his ribs when he was caused to fall asleep. They were both living in the Garden of Eden.

One day, the devil came to convince Eve to eat the fruit from a tree at the center of the garden against God’s instructions. The tree was called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The devil told Eve to eat of the tree and also give to Adam. That they will be as wise as God.

Eve did as she was told and also gave to her husband. Their act grieved God a lot, and He cursed and banished them from the garden.

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Christian attachment to the act of baptism or christening is very strong. Pixabay

The Coming of Jesus Christ

Many years later, while mankind was suffering from the consequences of the original sin committed by our progenitors, God decided to have mercy and sent His only begotten son, Jesus, to be the Messiah that will save the whole of mankind.

When Jesus was grown up, he requested John the Baptist to baptize him in the River Jordan as a sign that all sins have been washed away from him.

Immediately after Jesus’ baptism, a white dove descended from heaven and perched on his head while God’s voice bellowed from heaven telling the world to behold His beloved son with whom He is well pleased.

Baptism as a Christian Tradition

Thus, began a serious Christian attachment to the act of baptism or christening. This particularly significant ceremony or tradition is performed at babyhood with white as the most preferred color as it was the dove’s color.

White is said to symbolize purity after the washing away of sins. This is why most christening gowns canada, just like a huge fraction of Christian countries, come in white.

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Baptism is a highly symbolic Christian tradition. Pixabay

On the Use of One Christening Gown Passed Down for Generations

The significance of the christening gown has gained massive acclaim within the Christian fold in such a way that most families have adopted the use of a single christening gown for baptizing or christening their babies for generations.

You will be surprised that quite a good number of christening gowns canada are pieces of a family heirloom that has been used for generations to preserve family legacies and heritage of many great Canadian families.

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The significance attached to the christening gown is further heightened by the fact that it is used only once in a lifetime. It is quite a memory to preserve, and most adults always appreciate the feeling of nostalgia that they have when they set eyes on their christening photographs.

In conclusion, in some Christian denominations, one can never be fully accepted if one did not undergo baptism as a baby.