According to International Christian Concern (ICC), a series of government crackdowns on Christians in Vietnam has taken place, including the arrest and torture of an imprisoned pastor’s wife and the assault and arrest of a 14-year-old Christian in northern Vietnam.
On 13th June, a local church near the Vietnam-China border was stormed by 30 government authorities including high level officials. During the onslaught, multiple churchgoers were beaten and two were arrested, including a 14-year-old.
The priest was taken in for interrogation, where authorities attempted to force him to sign a statement admitting that the church’s activities disrupted the community and endangered security.
A week before this incident, United Nations officials had publicly condemned the alleged torture and arrest of the wife of an imprisoned Christian pastor in Vietnam. This condemnation followed a widespread media outcry.
According to reports, Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh’s wife, Tran Thi Hong, was detained and tortured on April 14th, 2016 by local authorities of Gia Lai Province. The purpose of her torture was an attempt to extract information regarding a recent meeting she had taken part in with the visiting US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom on March 30th.
While members of the international community have publicly condemned accounts of torture and the recent crackdown on religious minorities by the Vietnamese government, Christians living and working in Vietnam remain doubtful as to whether or not the situation will improve.
“I don’t believe that the Vietnamese Government will address this issue,” a regional expert told ICC. “I believe we are witnessing [the] Communist Government [flexing] their muscles rather than [relaxing].”
- Pray for those Christians caught up in the raid on the church this week. Pray for healing for those who were beaten, for a speedy release without charges for those arrested and detained, and for peace in the hearts of all the Church members at this time.
- Pray for the Church in Vietnam, as it comes under increasing oppression from the government and local authorities. Pray for the government to heed the calls for freedom of religion and worship for all people.
- Pray for access to training and discipleship materials for Christians in Vietnam.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to move in this nation and for any Vietnamese people to hear the gospel and come to accept its truth and Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
Psalm 2 vs 8: “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.“
Source: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/, http://www.persecution.org/