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The waters had risen over the bridge making it virtually impossible to cross, especially with his children riding pillion. The children got off their father’s motorbike and ran ahead to the church while Thao struggled to push his motorbike through the water. Thao however, was not prepared for what was about to happen. Suddenly, he felt a stinging blow to his back and as he turned raising his arm to defend himself, the machete came down slicing his forearm badly. The machete came down again, this time slicing into Thao’s cheek but the biggest shock was not from the severity of the attack but the identity of the perpetrator, it was Thao’s older brother.

A small church in northern Vietnam was established in 2012 and became a beacon of light to the Hmong community of idol worshipers and those practising witchcraft. After three years of Thao searching for truth, together with his family, they gave their lives to Jesus and turned away from their old cultural ways. Their decision shocked their relatives, especially his older brother who rebuked him. Supported by the dictates of the government, Thao’s brother felt justified – even confident, to persecute all Christians in his area, including his brother and family.

Being family made no difference to him, he hated Christians and would be the government’s champion in preventing the church from growing. Always looking for ways to persecute the Christians, Thao’s brother announced, “I will continue to persecute Christians as long as I live. I even have the backing of the government and nothing will stop me.”

Blood shed on the Sabbath
Leaving his motorbike on the bridge, Thao ran as fast as he could into the church bleeding heavily from his wounds. His brother chased him but Thao was now safe inside and church members tried to stop the bleeding. When it was safe, they took Thao to a hospital.

At the hospital, the authorities spoke with Thao asking whether he would press charges against his brother. He said “No, I forgive him.”

Thao’s angry brother continues to look for ways to persecute the Christians in his village. However, the church is praying for him and the salvation of his whole family.

The damage to Thao’s wrist was severe. Many tendons may have been damaged. VOM Australia has provided funds so Thao can visit a specialist to ensure a thorough examination is completed, we will then fund any further treatment he requires.

Please pray that Thao will receive the specialised medical treatment he needs and that his family will be protected from further attacks.