A new report from Human Rights Watch claims the oppression of Vietnam’s Christian Montagnards (mountain people) has reached a critical state.
The report, Persecuting “Evil Way” Religion: Abuses against Montagnards in Vietnam, claims government authorities have arrested Christians, detaining them sometimes for days or even months. Many of the detainees, who follow a form of evangelical Protestantism not recognised by the government, were beaten.
“Official media reports describe the security forces as taking action against minority ‘peaceful evolution’ activists protesting against shortcomings in Communist Party policies related to ‘national minorities,’ including allegations that the authorities are violating their human rights. The Vietnamese authorities deny these violations are occurring and characterise them as a fabricated excuse for committing the crime of illegally leaving Vietnam for Cambodia,” the HRW report said.
Persecution has been especially harsh in the Central Highlands, an area where Protestant missionaries worked before and during the Vietnam War. Today, many of the ethnic minority tribes there still practise evangelical Christianity.
Periodic bouts of harsh persecution are nothing new among Vietnam’s Christianity minorities, but, according to the report, persecution of the evangelical Christian minority became official policy in January 2013 when the communist Vietnamese government passed “Decree 92.” The new law clamped down on religious groups not registered with the government, prohibited the “manipulation of freedom of belief and religion,” and outlined “propaganda against the state” and threats to “national unity.”
Vietnam’s constitution contains a guarantee of religious freedom, but it only extends so far as the government allows.
Source: Christian Examiner
- Thank the Lord for church growth in Vietnam, in spite of severe opposition.
- Ask the Lord to strengthen the resolve of His children in Vietnam to love, serve and follow Him even through great trials and suffering.
- Pray He will pour out His Spirit and grow His church further throughout this nation. Pray He will reveal Himself to many currently in authority.