Editor’s Note: The Khmu people are thought to be the original inhabitants of Northern Laos. It is estimated that there are 800,000 Khmu worldwide of which approximately 65,000 are Christian. The Khmu were the first native peoples of the region, to respond to Christ in the late 1880’s.
A young Khmu woman is being persecuted by her family for converting to Christianity. The family of 17-year-old Phum has burned her Bible and hymnbook, forbade her to attend church and even threatened her life in attempts to persuade her to recant her faith.
Phum became a Christian after attending church with a friend in Oudomxay province. Impassioned to learn more about Christ, Phum studied her Bible and attended church every week. Knowing that her family would disapprove — especially her older brother, who works for the Lao Patriotic party — she tried to hide where she went each Sunday.
After about two months, Phum’s family noticed her weekly disappearances. When they asked her where she was going, Phum told them she had become a Christian. They accused her of being a traitor to her country and of following a foreign religion. To escape her family’s condemnation, Phum would retreat to her room, wrap a blanket around herself and read softly from the Bible.
Phum continued to attend church, but her family tried to prevent her from practicing her faith. Her father gave her house chores every Sunday, and her brother hit her with a wooden stick when she tried to walk out the front door.
One Sunday, Phum’s family confronted her and demanded that she stop attending church. When they threatened to throw away her hymnbook and Bible, Phum reluctantly complied with their demands. She couldn’t face losing her most precious possessions.
After missing worship services for two weeks, Phum walked the several miles to her church leader’s house and tearfully apologized for not attending church. Despite complying with her family’s demands, they continued to scold her daily, and her brother burned her Bible and hymnbook. He told Phum that if she ever attended church again, she would be kicked out of the house, sent to jail or killed. The family intentionally works in distant fields every Sunday so there is no chance for Phum to sneak away to church. She is still prevented from attending church and greatly misses her church family and Bible.
Please pray that the Lord will soften the hearts of Phum’s family toward Christianity and toward Phum.
Source: Voice of the Martyrs