Vietnam’s new “Law on Belief and Religion,” scheduled to come into effect this year, will add another layer of governmental repression and control to an already pressurised Church, according to Vo Tran Nhat, Executive Secretary of the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights.
“They’re going to adopt a new law, a law on religion. This law is not a law on religion; it’s just a law on how to manage the control of religion,” he said in a video interview with World Watch Monitor.
“Communism in Vietnam is like a religion, a secular religion. Vietnam is a one-party state, and Article 4 of the constitution gives all the power to the Communist party.
“The Communist party is very paranoid. In fact, historically, it always considered people who are not with [it] are against [it]. Before, it was for ideological reasons. Now, I think it’s more a question just of power, money, etc., etc. All the organisations [that] are not Communist [are seen as] a threat.
“There is no religious freedom because the Communist regime tries to control everything in the religious life. The regime [has created] lots of other state-sponsored churches. There is unofficial and official, and unofficial churches are repressed. When you are recognised, it means you are under the control of the party and you can do nothing.
“We have several [decrees] on religion. The texts always say at the beginning: everybody has the right [to practise] religion, and you can believe, etc., etc. But in the other provisions, it always says you can’t abuse your right of religion to infringe upon the interests of the state.
“It means that the Vietnamese authority gives people human rights, but at the same time it is taking back human rights. So, in fact, there is no human rights. You have a very visible repression against different religions, like the Christians.
“They’re going to adopt a new law, a law on religion. This law is not a law on religion; it’s just a law on how to manage the control of religion.”
- Pray for Vietnam. Pray for the government to recognise true freedom of belief and worship without fear and without the need to control.
- Pray as the government seek to bring in this new law. Pray that they will recognise how repressive it is and that it will not be passed into law.
- Pray for Vietnamese Christians who are often targets of abuse and persecution. Pray for encouragement for them, for opportunities to meet together and protection over them and their families.
- Pray for a move of the Holy Spirit over this land, for many to encounter Christ Jesus and come to faith In Him.
Psalm 103 vs 6: “The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.”