the regime. The Tai folk religion, or Satsana Phi (Lao: ສາສະໜາຜີ; Thai: ศาสนาผี, /sàːǎː.pʰǐː/, "religion of spirits"), or Ban Phi (in Ahom language) is a form of animist religious beliefs traditionally and historically practiced by groups of ethnic Tai peoples . Please check your inbox. Christians in Laos are strictly monitored, and frequent reports indicate fierce persecution, particularly in rural communities. religions are referred to as Satsana Phi - or "religions of the gods". We don't believe in a one size fits all approach so be sure to provide us with plenty of information here and it will really help us start thinking about some awesome ideas for your personalised trip. Based on the doctrine of Buddha average people cannot hope for nirvana at the end of his life but nirvana comes after having achieved enlightenment regarding the deceptive nature of existence. Buddhism is an inherent feature of daily life and casts a strong influence on Lao society. The origins of Christianity in Laos are rooted in the spice trade, which brought merchants and Jesuit monks to the frontiers of Laos by way of Vietnam in the 1630s, though it took two centuries for Christianity to gain official entrance into the country. Indigenous adherents of folk religion in Laos mainly include Laotians from the Lao Theung and Lao Sung ethnic groups. The government of Laos officially recognizes four religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and the Baha’i Faith. Most of these ethnic minorities are practitioners of animism, with beliefs that vary greatly among groups. Religion. Laos Religion. doctrine and used it to serve their own ends - with quite considerable In the mid-20th century, Laos came under the rule of the communist Copyright@ 2014 All rights reserved. Lowland villages usually are located close to rivers and roads that give the people access to itinerant traders as well as to each other. government control, and monks have to study communist party policy as We are one of the Top-10 Inbound Tour Operators, with reliable and high quality services in travel industry in Laos. By the 1990s, attendance at Email: The Paris Foreign Missions Society—a Catholic organization—established the first Christian church in Laos in 1878, followed by Presbyterian churches in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Traditionally, men spent three months during the rainy season in a Wat (Buddhist temple). Cambodia - at the beginning of the eighth century - and was widespread The temple compound typically includes a public building that serves as a school and a meeting hall. Shamans are also an integral part of such religions. Animism is considered second most dominant religion in the country. Among some peoples, particularly the Hmong, shifting cultivation has prevented the establishment of permanent villages. tried to leave the sangha and flee to Thailand to escape the control of Buddhist monks walking past the Pha That Luang temple, Vientiane, Laos. Most of Lao lowland people (about 50 percents of population) are follower of Theravada Buddhism. Website: from £2730 pp (twin share) Such religions are polytheistic in nature. Some two-fifths of the population, primarily the Lao Theung and Lao Soung … All people, particularly those in rural communities, are encouraged to actively participate in religious life. via monks from the Mon kingdoms, which ruled large portions of religion in Laos, and most Lao men spend a portion of their life as a Laos Religion. Buddhism was originally introduced in Laos by way of traveling Burmese monks during the eighth century, notably later than it was introduced to neighboring countries like Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar (Burma). Religious festivals occur in conjunction with the lunar calendar and thus may not happen on the same monthly dates year by year. Although the country’s constitution provides for freedom of religion in theory, the government restricts this right in practice, particularly with respect to the minority religions. Email: Unable to find Any Addresses for this PostCode/ZipCode. Buddhist ceremonies had increased and Buddhism was on the resurgence, Buddhists—largely lowland Lao—account for about half the country’s people. Laos Religion. Islam didn’t arrive in Laos in significant capacity until the 20th century, when Muslims from India immigrated to the French colony. Totaling less than 800 people, Laos has one of the lowest Muslim populations in Southeast Asia. Large communities of Lao and Hmong now live in the United States, Australia, and France. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. # 081, Samsenthai Road, Vientiane, Laos Most cultivate swiddens (i.e., fields that are cleared and cultivated for a few years before being abandoned and allowed to revert to forest), hunt game, and collect various edible and nonedible forest products. education, healing, and preservation of national culture. Laos after the Geneva Conference, 1954–75. After the foundation of the unified Kingdom of Lane Xang, King Fa Ngum (14th Century) declared Buddhism as the state religion and urged the people to abandon Animism or other beliefs such as the Cult of Spirits. Major religion(s): Country major religions. Though Islam is recognized as an official religion, Laos has one of the smallest populations of Muslims in southeast Asia, numbering less than 800. people hold fairly syncretic beliefs regardless of their professed Religious influences are also pervasive in classical Lao literature, especially in the Pha Lak, Pha Lam, the Lao version of India’s epic Ramayana. Christianity in Laos is organized into three official branches: Roman Catholic, … There is also information about travel tips to Laos. Though protected under the constitution, there are frequent reports of arrest, detention, and exile of practicing Christians, particularly in rural communities. As Laos was once part of the ancient Khmer Empire, remains of Hindu temples can be found across the country. Religions : This entry includes a rank ordering of religions by adherents starting with the largest group and sometimes includes the percent of total population . Phi is connected with the universal elements- earth, fire, water and heaven. Christianity in Laos is organized into three official branches: Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist, and the Lao Evangelical Church, or LEC. Apostolic vicar of Paksé Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun from Laos walks after kneeling before Pope Francis to pledge allegiance and become cardinal during a consistory for the creation of five new cardinals on June 28, 2017 at St Peter's basilica in Vatican. Buddhism and other religions are overseen by the … About 64.7% of the population of Laos practices Theravada Buddhism, making it the most common religion in the country. There is also information about travel tips to Laos. Take a luxurious waterborne journey along the rivers, across the lakes and amongst the islands of beautiful Laos. Collectively, these tribal In Laos, as in Cambodia, the principal religion is Theravada Buddhism faith. Although there are many religions in Laos, the color of Buddhism is the most dominant and profound. Copyright@ 2014 All rights reserved. Visit our sister brand Despite this liberalisation, however, the Lao sangha remains under Read more >. Buddhism first appeared in Laos during the eighth century A.D., as shown by both the Buddha image and the stone inscription found at Ban Talat near Vientiane, now exhibited at Hor Pra keo Museum. The remainder of the By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Laos Religion. Some two-fifths of the population, primarily the Lao Theung and Lao Soung groups, follow non-Buddhist local religions. You can email us using the below form. Theravada Buddhism as the country's primary faith. Afghanistan Recent History Satsana Phi religious leaders are specially trained shamans, called mophi. was conquered by the Khmers, Mahayana Buddhism (the type of Buddhism Since some heavy-handed attempts in the aftermath of 1975 to take over the sangha, which was perceived as a rival grassroots organization, and the subsequent flight of many monks abroad, the government has treaded carefully. 15 nights: For example, all Buddhist groups are required to register with the Ministry of Home Affairs, whereas previously the registration requirement was less applicable for Buddhists. Muslim > Muslim population : Muslim population 2014 Pew Report. Religious activity focuses on the unity, equality, and importance of all people and religions. from £3140 pp (twin share) A number of nongovernmental organizations, including some from the United States, have been assisting the government, mainly in the fields of rural development and public health. Mckenzie Perkins is a writer and researcher specializing in southeast Asian religion and culture, education, and college life. About 90% of the Lao people practicing Buddhism professed Theravada Buddhism (“The Doctrine of the Elders”) with approximately 5,000 temples serving as the center of religious practices as well as the focus of the community in the rural areas. Buddhism was the state religion of the prerepublic kingdom of Laos, and the organization of the community of monks and novices, the clergy (sangha), paralleled the political hierarchy. Their populations are predominantly Lao, with smaller groups of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Indians. The regime has patronized a revival of Buddhist culture and merit making and has also tolerated the practice of many unique religious traditions that it earlier had publicly discouraged as “superstitious.”. Communism is effectively atheist but the Government is tolerant of religion though it does seek to oversee affairs so that no religion interferes with the State. The “Calling for Rain” posture of Buddha images in Laos, for example, which depicts the Buddha standing with his hands held rigidly at his side, fingers pointing to the ground, can not be found in other Southeast Asian Buddhist art traditions. All Rights Reserved. Every Buddhist man is expected to spend several months living as a monk, and elderly, widowed women often become bhiksuni, or Buddhist nuns. Travel to Laos provides tourist information for travelers to Laos. That Luang, a Lao style stupa in Vientiane is considered to be the most sacred Buddhist monument in Laos and it is also the location of the week-long festival celebrated throughout Laos in which hundreds of monks gather to pray. Later in the century, Muslims migrated from Pakistan, bringing the total number of Muslims to around 7,000. However, restrictions on all religious communities increased in 2016, when the government passed a decree (Decree 315) intended to set the principles and requirements of Laos' religion. All Christian organizations are closely monitored. In lowland villages wats (temples) serve as a center of religious devotion. Thank you for your subscription. Buddhism first appeared in Laos during the eighth century A.D., as shown by both the Buddha image and the stone inscription found at Ban Talat near Vientiane, now exhibited at Hor Pra keo Museum. We would also love to chat about your travel plans on the phone so why not give our local office a call. Since its initial establishment suggested to be in the 3rd century, the stupa has undergone several reconstructions until the 1930s due to foreign invasions to the area.

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