Vietnam has a repressive communist government that actively restricts Christian worship. In rural areas of Vietnam, local authorities view Christianity as a foreign threat and often use arrests, intimidation, property destruction, detentions, beatings, forced renunciations and targeted discrimination in an attempt to halt church growth.
Our front-line workers have asked for prayer for recent incidents:
- On Saturday 14 October, authorities and thugs took five young Christian men by surprise when they suddenly appeared with sticks, batons, machetes and firearms, and arrested them while they were gathered for Bible study. They were then taken to the local police station where they were imprisoned for two days without food. Before they were released, they were warned that they would not be allowed to gather without permission again. Thankfully, not only were these believers not afraid but they continue to boldly share the gospel with others.
- Bao and his wife accepted Christ approximately a year ago. As a former soldier, who had faithfully served the communist party, his conversion to Christianity enraged the local authorities. As a Christian, Bao has forfeited all financial benefits resulting from his military career. In addition, the authorities started to threaten Bao and his wife, that they would further ‘pay’ for their conversion. On Friday 20 October, Bao’s home was deliberately set on fire, Bao and his wife lost everything; even their livestock perished. The couple are now staying at a fellow believer’s home.
- Thi was recently approached by local authorities, asking why she allowed church gatherings at her house without permission; before she could respond; they attacked, hit her on the head with a large wooden stick until she fell to the ground, unconscious. She was rushed to the hospital and thankfully, has since been discharged.
- Nga accepted Christ several years ago, but she fell away from her faith after experiencing persecution and suffering severe personal loss. Earlier this year, Nga, met a VOM-supported front-line worker, she was greatly encouraged by him and willingly returned to her faith. She then started to open her home for regular church gatherings. She began to notice she was being watched and soon after she was approached and questioned about her faith by two men unknown to her. Early on 9 October, she went to her farm to work. There, she was attacked and was left on the roadside unconscious and bleeding. She was taken to hospital in a critical condition. She has suffered a traumatic brain injury.
- It has come to the attention of our Vietnamese front-line workers that when a person is admitted to hospital with an injury resulting from violence, staff at provincial hospitals have started to ask the patient (or their companions) if the person to be treated is a Christian. Our contacts fear that when the answer is yes, it may affect the treatment administered.
VOM Australia is financially assisting these families.