Vietnam has a repressive communist government which actively persecutes Christians, and Deacon Davi and his wife Mai were recently targeted. Yet, despite severe persecution, they refused to renounce their faith.
While Christianity is legal in Vietnam, the government still sees it as a threat. Believers from minority tribal groups typically face the harshest forms of persecution. Most Vietnamese practise ancestor worship, which is often blended with Buddhism.
Recently, local authorities in a South Central Coast region of Vietnam ‘invited’ Deacon Davi and Mai to their office, in an attempt to force them to renounce their faith. The couple stood firm and eventually the authorities allowed Mai to return home to their two young children. Davi was detained with the justification that it would give him the opportunity to ‘rethink’. The authorities threatened Davi that if he didn’t renounce his faith within three days, he and his family would be banished from the village – their land and property would be confiscated.
While Davi was in prison, the authorities visited the family home. There, they insisted that Davi had signed a confession and renounced his faith. They demanded Mai do the same. Knowing the family struggled financially, they then proceeded to make promises to Mai as an incentive to comply. They assured her she would be provided with social assistance in addition to a monetary gift to start a business.
Mai did not believe Davi had succumbed to their demands and rejected their offer. The officers became angry. They searched the house before leaving, taking with them Davi’s Bible.
During his detention, Davi was beaten and continually threatened but he boldly stood firm, saying, “Before I became a Christian, no one visited my family when we were struggling. We also had to spend a lot of money for offerings to idols. Our fellow Christians love us; they visit us and pray for us. We no longer have the burden of giving money to idols. Whatever the cost, we will never renounce our faith.”
As the authorities had no legal reason to detain Davi further, he was released.
When Davi returned home, a VOM contact, along with other deacons from Davi’s church, visited the family and prayed with them. Davi and Mai were enormously encouraged. The VOM contact replaced the stolen Bible and supplied the family with provisions to help meet their needs.
The threats from the officers continue. Higher government authorities are putting pressure on local authorities to stop the spread of the Gospel at any cost.
Please pray for the family’s safety and for all believers in the area.
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