Local police and Christian authorities in Laos jointly believe that a Christian pastor was tortured and killed for spreading Christianity and converting villagers to the Christian faith.
According to a report by Christian Headlines, investigators discovered the body of Pastor Seetoud in October with visible signs of torture. The pastor was known to minister in Laos' Khammouane Province, where his church was.
Details of the Incident
The same report disclosed that Pastor Seetoud was supposed to minister to Christians in the village of Thakhek on Oct. 20. The village is at least 100 kilometers away from his house in Done Keo village in Khammouane Province's Nakai District.
When the pastor did not arrive at the meeting place three hours after his supposed arrival, 20 people began looking for him.
The search team reportedly went to a mountain pass close to Don Keo village but failed to locate the pastor. They also visited a local hospital to look for Pastor Seetoud, but he was not there.
Following the failed attempts to locate him, the search party secured CCTV footage from a local store in Nakai the following day. The footage showed the pastor leaving a gas canister, which he intended to retrieve afterward.
A resident found the pastor's body in a ditch on a jungle road near Don Keo. The resident uploaded photos from the scene on Facebook, which the local search saw. They finally located Pastor Seetoud's corpse on Oct. 23 or two days from when he was last seen alive.
According to two Christians who were supposed to accompany the pastor on his journey to Thakhek, a pair of unnamed officials accosted the pastor and asked him about his reasons for visiting the village.
Another eyewitness from Wangheen village told authorities that he saw a black truck without a license plate on Oct. 20. He said several men got out of the truck and nabbed a man before loading him into the truck and speeding away from the scene. After hearing the news about the pastor's death, he concluded it was Pastor Seetoud whom he saw abducted on that day.
Killed for His Faith
His fellow Christian leaders told investigators that Pastor Seetoud's remains bore signs of torture as his body was almost unidentifiable. They said they located his Bible close to his remains, while his motorcycle was left beside a road close to where his body was dumped.
Seetoud, the pastor of the Lao Evangelical Church (LEC), left behind his wife and eight kids.
Christian leaders close to the pastor suspect that local officials killed Seetoud because of his ministerial works. The leaders revealed that Pastor Seetoud had been receiving death threats from neighbors and relatives who told him of dire consequences should he continue sharing his Christian beliefs with villagers.
Village officials also allegedly asked the pastor to refrain from practicing his beliefs. The threats reportedly started in July this year.
"No words can describe the pain that Seetoud's family and the local churches are experiencing. The great injustice about the whole situation is that those in authority were either directly or indirectly involved in Seetoud's murder," an LEC leader told Christian Headlines.
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