Area: 236,800 sq km
Narrow, landlocked country mainly between Thailand and Vietnam. Mountainous and 55% forested.
Population: 6,436,093 Annual Growth: 1.82%
Official language: Lao Languages: 89 All languages
Largest Religion: Buddhist
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
Unreached peoples. The sheer ethnic diversity is one of the greatest barriers to effective evangelization of the whole country. Pray for:
a) The Lao. The nations dominant people are described as gentle and peace loving. But anti-Christian bias in government and society, strong family pressure to conform and the passive nature of Lao culture are major obstacles to faith. There has been major growth among the Lao (>40,000 Christians), and they are key in bringing the gospel to the rest of Laos.
b) The Tai tribes, speaking 15 languages. They are mostly unevangelized and have almost no resources in their dialects; but their close affinity to the Lao, linguistically and ethnically, affords them some opportunities to discover the good news.
c) The mountain-dwelling Hmong are known for having resisted, sometimes violently, communism and government control. Most Hmong Christians fled Laos in 1975. Although the proportion of Christians is lower among them, the Hmong are the most responsive peoples in the country and significant numbers are coming to faith.
d) The northern peoples. Many have responded to the gospel in China and Thailand. Political conditions have never allowed missionary work; pray that this will change.
e) The many small southern tribes received the gospel for the first time between 1957 and 1963, but war prevented the planting of churches among most of them. They are deeply enmeshed in the fear of spirits; pray that they find freedom through Jesus.
Christian help ministries.
a) Media ministries are very fruitful, including literature, cassettes, radio and resources on video, CD and DVD. The governments obstruction of both importing and producing materials nationally is a great need for prayer. Pray also for indigenous artists to write and perform Christian songs, and to develop effective evangelism and discipleship tools using stories, drama, music and other creative expressions of truth.
b) Bible and literature distribution. The UBS and the Bible League distribute Bibles. AsiaLink is an agency deeply committed to literature ministry for Laotians. Hundreds of thousands of pieces of literature were hand carried into Laos. Pray for the free and widespread distribution of all Christian literature; pray also for the safety of those who carry in Christian materials.
c) Bible translation. The local linguistic situation is highly complex. Several groups are looking into ways to address this challenge. There are 31 languages with a definite need for translation teams and possibly a further 26 languages will need them. Praise God that the Mien Bible has now been printed. Pray for the effective use of all available tools in speeding up the process of making Gods Word available.
d) GRN has prepared audio messages in 91 languages and dialects of Laos. This is a vital ministry in a nation where literacy is relatively low.
e) Christian radio. FEBC and others broadcast 71 hours weekly in indigenous languages, including Lao, Hmong, Khmu, Tai, Akha, Lahu and Mien. Radio has great potential.
f) Christian media. The JESUS film is available in Lao, Khmu, Hmong(2), Mien, Akha, Vietnamese and Chinese and is being produced in several more languages. The Gods Story Project materials are also available in Lao.
For an additional 5 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Laos.