Evangelical group says Laos deports 3 American missionaries

BANGKOK — A U.S.-based Christian evangelical organization says three of its American volunteers who were detained in Laos more than a week ago for proselytizing have been freed and deported.

The operations manager for Vision Beyond Borders, Eric Blievernicht, said in an e-mail that the three crossed into Thailand on Thursday night.

The missionaries, identified by the Casper, Wyoming-based group only as Wayne, Autumn and Joseph, were detained by Laotian police on April 8 while visiting villages in the northwestern province of Luang Namtha to distribute Gospel tracts and other Christian material.

The website of U.S.-government funded Radio Free Asia, citing an unidentified district policeman, reported Tuesday that the three were detained for handing out religious materials without receiving official permission.

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