UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Pastors jailed in chains for holding prayer services
The Laotian government continues its harsh treatment of Christians.
- September 24, 2012
They are among five Christian leaders who were detained September 11 in Phin district of¬†Savannakhet province, though two of them have since been released, said Human Rights Watch¬†for Lao Religious Freedom (HRWLRF), which assists them with advocacy.
The HRWLRF said Pastor Bounlert, of Alowmai church and the Phin district Christian group,¬†Adang, pastor of Kengsainoy church, and Onkaew, pastor of Kapang church, remain handcuffed.
Additionally, foot stocks were allegedly placed on Onkaew, a method rights watchers say is often used by¬†police to torture detainees.
In several parts of Laos people use only one name to identify themselves.
HRWLRF, an advocacy group with close contacts in the region, told BosNewsLife it remains concerned about¬†district police officials who reportedly visited the pastors churches and interrogated their wives.
The group said questions included "Who persuaded you to become Christians?", "Why do you believe in the¬†Christian faith?" and "Who first became Christians in your church?".
Police also wanted to know "Where is the church getting money from?",¬†"How much money was used to build the church building?" and "What kind of daily work" is the¬†pastor involved in?, HRWLRF, added.
There was no immediate comment from police officials. Local authorities have often defended their¬†actions, saying they want to protect local traditions in the Communist-run Asian nation.
HRWLRF said it was concerned that "All three pastors continue to suffer physically due to their Christian¬†faith and the construction of their houses which are being used for church assembly."
The advocacy group said the detention could not have come at a worse time for Adang and Onkaew who "are seriously ill¬†due to their health conditions."
Family members were reportedly seeking permission from Lao authorities to get them treated at¬†the Savannakhet provincial hospital, but there was no known¬†response from officials Thursday, September 20.
Full Story: Laos Jails Pastors Over House Churches