Country Overview

Capital Population Religion Economic
Christian Evangelical Buddhist HDI Rank GDP Per Capita
Vientiane 6,850,000 3.4% 2.33% 60.5% 138 of 188 $1,787

Laos, officially known as the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, is a narrow, landlocked communist state in Southeast Asia. Laos is one of the world’s few remaining communist states and one of East Asia’s poorest. Laos was a French colony until 1953 when the country became caught up in the Vietnam War. Communist forces overthrew the government in 1975, isolating the country for many years after. Persecution of the church was especially harsh between 1975-1978. In the 1990s, Laos began opening up to the rest of the world, relaxing their hardline economic and religious policies. Although restrictions have eased, Christians in rural areas especially are still watched and targeted.

 Laos is rich in natural resources with vast mountain ranges and more than half of the country is forested. Most Laotians live in rural areas, with about 80% working in subsistence agriculture, but transporting goods remains an issue for rural farmers with only 14% of all roadways being paved. The people of Laos are a complex mix of 250 different people groups with the Lao-Tai (59%) and Mon-Khmer (28%) making up a majority. Nearly 20% of people live poverty making less than $2 per day.


Program Overview

Location Reach Setting Program Started
Luang Prabang and Vientiane 2 Cities and Multiple Communities Urban and Rural 2006

Program Impact

  • Empowering the local leaders with Community Health Education (CHE) training and a center to train local community members on improved farming and agricultural techniques.
  • Demonstrating hygiene and sanitation practices, organic farming techniques, animal husbandry procedures.
  • Providing holistic ministry to local communities to see personal and community transformation.

 

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Data Sources:
Population and Religion: www.joshuaproject.net
HDI Rank: hdr.undp.org/en/composite/HDI
GDP Per Capita (2015): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_IMF_ranked_countries_by_GDP