Laos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia. Laos shares borders with Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and China. Laos has a number of rivers running through it and the abundance of fish contribute to the Laotian subsistence economy.


Population: 6.6 million (2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups: Lao (55%), Khmou (11%), Hmong (8%), other (over 100 minor ethnic groups) (26%)
Languages: Lao (official), French, English, various ethnic languages
Religions: Buddhist (67%), Christian (1.5%), other and unspecified (31.5%)


Laotian Population:
In Canada: 20,110
In the GTA: 3,625
In the City of Toronto: 880

Primary Areas of Settlement in the GTA (Social Atlas):
Brampton, Aurora, Newmarket, Caledon, East Gwillimbury

Laos became independent from France in 1954. Communist forces gained total control by 1975 and persecuted Christians. Two-thirds of Laotian Christians fled while the rest were forced to meet in secret. The Communists did not try to eliminate Buddhism, but instead tried to manipulate it for political purposes. Many monks refused to comply and either fled or quit. Religious restrictions have since eased up, but Christians are still targets of persecution despite the fact that Christianity is one of the four recognized religions in Laos. On the other hand, Buddhism has largely been revived. The Communist Party continues to have full political control (Laos is one of few communist countries left in the world). However, there has been some economic liberalization.

Map of Services and Churches in the GTA: 

Social and Settlement Services in the GTA


Churches in the GTA

Lao Canadian Evangelical Mennonite Church
23-2300 Finch Avenue West
Toronto, ON 
M9M 2Y3
Phone: 416-746-5001


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Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. (2009, October 15). Cultural Information - Laos. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. (2011, December 15). Overview - Laos. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from

Lao. (2009). In T. L. Gall & J. Hobby (Eds.), Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life (2nd ed., Vol. 4, pp. 548-553). Detroit: Gale.
Retrieved July 15, 2014, from

Mandryk, J. (2010). Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation (7th ed.). Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing.

Prayercast. (n.d.). Laos. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from 

Statistics Canada. (2011, April 7). 2006 Census of Canada: Topic-based tabulations/Ethnic Origin, Single and Multiple Ethnic Origin Responses and
Sex for the Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample
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