§ Andrew Mackinlay
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations he has made to the Government of Laos concerning the arrest of four Christians in Kasy District in Vientiane province on 2 August; 
(2) what representations he has made to the Government of Laos concerning the intimidation of Christians by the authorities in parts of Laos in recent months, including in Nam Thuam village, Vieng Samay village and Hua Muang village; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) by what methods the British Government monitor abuses of religious freedom in Laos; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Alexander
We are aware of reports of the mistreatment of Christians in Laos. Our embassy in Bangkok (which is accredited to Laos) monitors the situation. Although Lao people are officially free to worship, they may not preach in public. The Lao authorities themselves acknowledge incidents where officials have not permitted freedom of worship for Christians. We understand, however, there has been some limited progress, with a number of churches being allowed to re-open and an overall drop in the number of believers detained.
Our contacts with the Laos authorities are very limited. We are not therefore able to confirm individual reports, nor to raise individual cases on a regular basis. Ministers and officials have, however, raised our concerns over freedom of religion on a number of occasions, both in bilateral contacts and through the European Union. Most recently, on 18 June, our ambassador to Thailand raised the persecution of Christians with Deputy Foreign Minister Phongsavath Boupha.
We will continue to raise our concerns with the Lao Government when opportunities arise; and to encourage it to implement recent reforms on religious freedom.