Persecution of Christians in Vietnam frequently occurs in the highland areas. The government restricts religious freedom through legislation, registration requirements, and by harassing and intimidating unsanctioned religious groups. In some urban areas, religious activity is permitted within government-approved parameters. In rural areas, local authorities view Christianity as a foreign threat and often use discrimination, intimidation, property destruction, detentions, beatings and forced renunciations of faith to try to halt church growth.
Christians are specifically targeted by local authorities for gathering without permission and preaching the gospel illegally, although persecution may also come from family and community. Our field workers have asked for prayer for believers who have recently suffered:
- Pastor Tuan was on his way home after visiting some church members when he was ambushed and attacked. He shielded himself from the blows of the attacker and injured his arm.
- Two sisters, recent converts, are suffering rejection and harassment from their neighbours and relatives after converting to Christianity. The husband of one of the women left her and their child after her conversion was discovered.
- Recently, Pastor Can left his home to visit another area, his wife did not accompany him as she was not well. Pastor Can had recently been threatened by the local authorities because some church members had been gathering in his home to worship the Lord, without permission. While pastor Can was away, an arsonist set fire to his home. His wife barely managed to escape, and the home was burnt to the ground – their house and all their belongings, including a motorbike, have been completely destroyed.
VOM Australia is assisting these believers with financial support.