Teo* believes in Jesus Christ. For this reason his family book was confiscated.
Family books are government issued records essential to functioning in Lao society. The thin, blue books with the country’s crest emblazoned on the front have been a staple in every Lao home since 1992. A family book is a bullet point requirement in applying fora job, a way out of the country, and is a gateway to a local child’s education. Without it, a family of believers in Laos simply becomes a family of settlers. They are barely citizens. They have no rights.
“All of the Christians in my village don’t have a family book,” the tribal pastor from Southeast Laos says. “The Christians in my village are like secret agents. They still practice animal sacrifice because if they stop, they will be asked to leave the village. Every time I try to go to my village, the people are alerted. There was even a time when eight people were following me, observing my actions.”
Teo has a small convenience store which is his main source of livelihood. Because his family book has been confiscated, his business operates illegally.
“I pray for the Christians here to have a source of livelihood,” Teo shares. “I am thinking of establishing a farm where Christians can work together. This is a hard place for Christians, but I believe God is working. If we focus only on what we see, we will be discouraged.”
*representative name and photo used for security reasons