21 February 2018

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10/25/2010 LAOS

First ordination in northern Laos in forty years

On 12 December the ordination of Father Pierre Buntha Silaphet, by the Apostolic Bishop Tito Banghong will take place in the Apostolic Vicariate of Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang (AsiaNews) - The first ordination in forty years in northern Laos will be celebrated on December 12 next. This was announced with understandable joy and emotion by the apostolic administrator of Luang Prabang, Mgr. Tito Banchong. The new priest is Pierre (Peter) Buntha Silaphet, he is thirty years old, and was born in Phomvan (Sayaboury - Northern Laos). He belongs to the K'hmu ethnic group. Celebrations to mark the first ordination in 40 years in the Vicariate of Luang Prabang, will be held in the village of Phomvan.

The future priest is called Buntha, just like the first priest of the area, Father Jean Bosco Buntha, also an ethnic K'hmu ', who was ordained February 22, 1970 by bishop Alessandro Stacciali, apostolic vicar from February 1968 to 1975. In that year the government decided to expel all foreign missionaries, banned from re-entering the country.

The apostolic administrator, Bishop Tito Banchong, has managed to gain all the necessary permits from the authorities to celebrate this event. In a non-official manner it has been made clear to all involved that the ordination ceremony should not be given too much importance and instead passed off as a local village celebration. Since 1975, the Vicariate of Luang Prabang has no cathedral, but only small chapels around the country. The government is closely monitoring the activity of church life and Christian minorities. The Catholic Church is present in the area with four apostolic vicariates: Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Vientiane Paksé. Christians number 39,725, representing 0.65% of the population.

See also

14/06/2006 LAOS
First Oblate to be ordained in Laos in 30 years

The ceremony should have taken place back in December but at the last minute the authorities cancelled it without giving any explanation. For the Oblates, this means the renewal of old ties.

15/03/2012 LAOS
Christians persecuted in Laos as violations of religious freedom continue
A new convert, the only Christian in a village, faced with an alternative: leave the faith or leave his home and property. At the moment his fate is unknown. In another district, 10 Christian families victims of a deportation order. The Laotian authorities persecute the Protestants considered "part of the US conspiracy".

10/01/2008 LAOS
More than 3,000 attend the ordination of a Laotian Oblate
He is the first parishioner in Pakxan to become a priest. Participating in the ceremony were the country's four bishops, the apostolic delegate, and even priests and religious from Australia and the Philippines.

28/03/2014 LAOS
Lao Christian families who refused to convert to Buddhism flee village
HRWLRF activists denounce that Christians were under considerable pressures to abandon their faith . For the authorities, they left the village of their "own free will". Now they have rebuilt a small community in a new, safer area, with full freedom of worship.

12/07/2011 LAOS
Fears for lives of Protestant pastors in prison for six months
Arrested on 4 January, the two religious leaders are facing serious health problems. Authorities condition release on their renouncing their faith. Improvement in conditions of Christian families expelled from the village of Katyn in 2010.

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