Monday, December 22, 2008

Persecution in Vietnam

I read an article a short time ago about persecution happening in Vietnam even though Christianity is recognized in that country. One of the issues is that churches must be legally recognized by the state.

One of the legally recognized churches is the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (South), which held a very large outdoor Christmas gathering on Dec. 12-13 of this year. Contrast that with the fact that the government of Vietnam destroyed a church that had been built to house a small congregation of Hmong Christians in Cu Hat village which is in the norther province of Dak Lak.

The government accused the congregation of building the church without the proper permits, even though the vast majority of the buildings there are built in this manner. The local authorities accused the Christians of “illegal construction” and ordered the congregation to “voluntarily” tear it down. On Dec. 2, Krong Bong district officials made a formal decision to demolish the church within two weeks if the Christians would not do so themselves.

Government officials arrived early in the morning to raze the building and brought with them police wielding electric cattle prods who beat back hundreds of distraught Christians who rushed to the site to protect the building being torn down. Five people were seriously injured, including a child with a broken arm, and a pregnant woman who had a cattle prod used against her abdomen.

The good news is that Christianity is allowed in this communist nation but only under the watchful eyes of the government. Most churches, especially the smaller congregations do not register for fear of having to report to the authorities of who are members, what they say and so forth. But the people of Vietnam are hearing the Good News. I would ask that you would pray for those who aren't recognized, and are persecuted for that, as in the example above.

You can read more about this story here.

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