CHRISTIANS FORCED INTO JUNGLE (POSTED APR 2011)
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Officials and residents of Katin village, Laos destroyed rice paddies farmed by 11 Christian families previously living in the village. The offenders drained water from the rice paddies, burned fencing that protected the crop from animals and stomped on new seedlings to ensure the rice would not grow.
The fields were destroyed just a few days after the Katin village chief armed with guns entered the homes of seven Christian families ordering them to give up their faith, when they refused, officials marched them out of the village and warned them not to return.
When village officials expelled the 11 families, for refusing to give up their faith, the Christians were forced to build simple shelters at the edge of the jungle which lacked adequate food and water. Officials also destroyed their houses, confiscated livestock and essential registration documents and denied their children access to the village school.
In May, village officials granted the families permission to take rice stored in their family rice barns to ward off starvation. Shortly afterwards, members of the 11 families returned off-season to farm their family rice paddies, adjacent to the village, in order to preserve land rights and maintain their food supplies.
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