A 53-year-old Lao pastor remains behind bars today after Lao police arrested him June 6 for encouraging others to convert to Christianity, Compass Direct News reports. The arrest of Asa, identified by only a single name, took place around 4 p.m. at his home in Peeyeur village in Laos' Luang Namtha Province, according to the Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom (HRWLRF). Police then drove Asa to the Luang Namtha provincial prison, about 31 miles away -- too far to allow visits from concerned family members and friends who have limited access to road transport. If normal procedure had been followed, HRWLRF said, police would have held Asa in a village or district prison for three days while they investigated charges against him. On June 7, Khamla, a prominent Christian leader in the province, met with police and discovered that Asa had been charged with leading people to Christ. Two years ago police forced Asa to sign documents agreeing that he would neither proclaim Christ nor lead people to Christianity. This year, however, many people in Peeyeur and surrounding villages, touched by Asa's life and testimony, have accepted Christ. Authorities in southern Laos have also continued to threaten, interrogate and arrest Christians.