Total Population: 6,904,000
Unreached Population: 5,626,000 (81.5%)
Number of People Groups: 136
Number of Unreached People Groups: 114 (83.8%)
Largest Religious Group: Buddhism (60.3%)
Professing Christians: 3.4% (2.31% Evangelicals)
Laos is located at the central part of the Indochinese Peninsula, with 70% of its area consisting of highlands and being bordered by China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Around 60% of its population is from the Lao people group while the rest are Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and a few other minority people groups. 60% Laotians identify themselves as Buddhists despite the nation being one of the few communist nations left in the world.
Although Roman Catholic missionaries began its work since 1641 to share the Gospel, yet it did not take root due to strong oppositions from the Buddhists. Protestant missionaries then began its work in the nation in the late 19th century. However, as part of the French Indochina, churches in Laos underwent persecutions and tribulations during the Indo-China War that broke out in 1946. Their sufferings were then compounded as the nation fell under the communist rule in 1975 which declared Christianity as an enemy of the state.
Especially in the northern part of Laos, there are still many areas where the Gospel of Christ has not yet been proclaimed. Over the years, Christianity soon became one of the four government approved religions, but open churches are closely monitored. Persecutions still happen but through the perseverance of local Christians in partnership with foreign missionaries, the Church continues to experience encouraging growth in recent years.
Pray for Laos
1. Pray for Lao Christians to have the courage to remain in their faith, in spite of the ongoing persecution from the government to freely live out their faith;
2. Pray for more Christian leaders to being raised through various leadership training programs to disciple their church members to be the salt and light in their respective communities;
3. Pray for the missionary and church planting efforts, that despite under strict government monitoring, many unreached people groups will come to faith.