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Christians in Laos facing long jail terms over prayers for sick convert

Christian Solidarity Worldwide has said Pastor Kaithong, Puphet, Muk, Hasadee, and Tiang, were originally accused of murdering Mrs Chan, a convert to Protestant Christianity, but have now been found guilty of causing death by "performance of the medical profession without a license" after praying for her.

It is understood she was suffering from an unidentified two-year illness when she died en route from hospital back to her home in Atsaphangthong district in June last year 2014.

The Christians have been accused of giving Chan medication on the journey back from the hospital which caused her death. However, in August 2014, Savannakhet Office of Prosecutors ruled that the five did not commit any criminal offence.
They maintain that they did not use any drug or material remedy, but only prayed for Mrs Chan in accordance with her request for prayer for healing.

CSW's Chief Operating Officer Andy Dipper said, "We are alarmed to hear that the five Lao Christians arrested in June 2014 could face up to five years in prison. According to this report from Human Rights Watcher for Lao Religious Freedom (HRWLRF), the Christians prayed for Mrs Chan in accordance with her request and did not use any kind of medicine or drug.

"We urge the People's Court of Savannakhet to urgently review this case, and repeat our call for the Lao authorities to release the five Christians and to investigate the actions of the village chief and police in this case without delay."

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