Imagine if your wealth and livelihood were determined by how many buffalo you owned. What if your survival depended on the number of pigs that were squealing in your backyard? It is hard to conceive of a lifestyle fully dependent upon livestock and agriculture. For the people of Katin Village, Laos, animals are more valuable than gold. Yet in June of 2009, these faithful believers were willing to risk their livelihood and safety in order to worship Christ. Amid a slew of threats hurled by local Katin Village elders, 53 Katin Christians decided to attend worship services in a neighboring village. When they returned home that night, they found that their animals had been maliciously slaughtered in an act of vengeance. When the Katin Christians filed a complaint, local officials stated that the animal slaughter would not cease until all 53 villagers renounced their faith. If history proves correct, these 53 brothers and sisters in Christ will not give in to this blasphemous ultimatum. Exactly one year ago, 80 Katin Christians were forcefully detained by Laos officials in an effort to get the believers to renounce their faith in Christ. When the Katin Christians would not budge, an angry Laos official decided to scare the believers into submission. In a fit of rage, the local officer snatched up a Katin Christian named Pew and asphyxiated him to death by pouring rice wine down his throat. Yet, even this murderous act of persecution did not deter the Christians of Katin Village. Outraged by their faithfulness, Laos officials forced the Katin Christians to leave their homes and settle in a nearby field. And this is where these Katin Christians live today–subsisting simply on food and water gathered from the surrounding jungle. Yet, even though it is hard to quench their ever demanding desire for water, at least these faithful Katin Christians’ thirst for the Lord has already been filled.
Sylvia Thompson is a Texas Representative for International Christian Concern. ICC is a non-profit organization that works tirelessly to help Christians around the world who are being persecuted for their faith in Christ. To learn more about International Christian Concern please visit, www.persecution.org.