THAKHEK, Laos — Local authorities suspect that a pastor found slain along a mountainous jungle road in Laos might have been killed by district officials.
The disfigured body of pastor Seetoud (who went by a single name) bore signs of torture when it was found Oct. 23, three days after he failed to arrive for a Christian meeting in Thakhek, Laos, Morning Star News reported.
Seetoud was married and had eight children, the youngest of whom is a year old. He led a congregation of the Lao Evangelical Church.
Christian leaders believe Seetoud was killed for his faith, while police in Khammouane Province think Nakai District authorities may have been responsible.
In the months before his death, Seetoud received threats from relatives and neighbors, as well as authorities in Thakhek in Nakai District, for talking about Jesus Christ.
Morning Star said Seetoud turned from animistic beliefs and put his faith in Christ in 2015.
Buddhism is practiced by some 60% of Laotians and animism by about 32%. Laos is No. 26 on Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.