In December 2019, the Lao government reversed the situation by passing a law that guarantees the rights of Christians to practice their faith without being disturbed, after decades of persecution. However, this law has been little publicized and is practically not applied in the interior of the country where Christians continue to face discrimination from some provincial officials.
The Catholic communities in Laos and Cambodia are facing significant challenges in training local clergy and reaching out to young people. With only 0.5% of the population in Laos and 0.1% in Cambodia being members of the Roman Catholic Church, the bishops are focusing on creating “prospects of hope” among those who are left behind in society. The lack of local clergy and language barriers are just a few of the challenges they face.