Two thousand years ago, Jesus gave a warning but also a wonderful promise, “On this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18. Centuries later, we are still seeing the efforts made to prevail against the church globally. Yet, just as God’s Word says, it has not prevailed, and the church continues to grow in hostile nations through bold frontline workers who share the Gospel. One such nation is Vietnam.
Vietnam has a repressive communist government that actively restricts Christians’ worship in many ways. While Christian worship is legal, the government views Christians and churches as a threat to their power and control. Minority tribal groups, such as the Hmong, generally face the most violent and harshest forms of persecution. New Christians in tribal areas are often evicted from their homes and villages by local authorities. Officially recognised churches are harassed by the government in various ways and are expected to report their activities and teachings to the government. All churches face government opposition when they evangelise and attempt to conduct community events.
The following are recent reports from key tribal leaders in the high mountainous areas of northern Vietnam. Their goal is to grow and establish the church through evangelism, discipleship, training and other ministries. Upon the backdrop of opposition, the kingdom is being advanced by bold Christians with the support of Voice of the Martyrs:
“I prioritise sharing Gospel with the lost. I have witnessed to 138 people and 52 of them received Jesus Christ during five months in 2021. I also spend time visiting these new believers, especially those who are the only ones in their areas to believe in Jesus. These people are the target of persecution such as cursing, physical punishment and abuse and mental threats because of their new faith. I opened two classes to train church leaders and as well as youth, to help them understand the word of God.”
Has conducted mission trips to Ha Giang, Lai Chau and Cao Bang. These rural areas are often difficult places to live for Christians as local authorities and community members violently persecute them. Through his ministry, Daichi has achieved much for the kingdom; 338 people have been given access to the Gospel, 165 placed their faith in Christ and 85 people were baptised. Throughout the course of his ministry, he has established a new church. In addition to this work in spreading the Gospel, Vale has undertaken the work of making disciples by teaching basic Bible doctrines and leadership training for existing leaders.
“I thank you that you supported and helped me to overcome many challenges during my time in ministry. I am a sinner and do not know much about God but nevertheless, He has saved me and is using me to be His tool to serve Him by obeying the Great Commission. I was able to share the Gospel with the Thai den and Nung tribal groups and provide training to 67 churches in Meo Vac and Bac Yen. We thank the Lord so much. Please pray for me as I do this ministry.”
Our frontline ministry fund directly assists pastors, evangelists and full-time Christian workers who courageously minister in the face of hostility and persecution. It includes provision to support underground Bible colleges, leadership training, evangelism resources, computers, transportation, small business equipment, pastor support programmes and equipping churches with resources.
The following testimony is a reminder that for our frontline workers, the mission field is not only in rural areas, but anywhere we encounter unbelievers.
Nguyen Thanh and her husband have dedicated their lives to advancing God’s kingdom among remote villages throughout Vietnam. During their ministry, they have experienced persecution, being beaten and detained for preaching the Gospel to many different tribal groups. Then, Nguyen was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, and her cancer relapsed in 2020, requiring a complicated surgical procedure and hospitalisation. Due to coronavirus protocols, she was required to stay at the hospital for an extended amount of time.
During her stay, she shared the Gospel with more than 100 patients, and 32 have responded in faith. She has also been teaching the Bible to the new believers, and many of them have returned home and are sharing the Gospel in their communities. Pray for these believers to continue growing in their faith. Pray also for Nguyen and her husband, thanking God for their faithful witness for Christ and asking for their material and physical needs to be met as she continues to recover.
VOM responds to persecution and provides training for pastors and believers. We also distribute Bibles to tribal Christians and provide ministry tools for frontline workers. This is in line with Richard Wurmbrand’s plea: “The message I bring from the Underground Church is: ‘Don’t abandon us!’ ‘Don’t forget us!’ ‘Don’t write us off!’ ‘Give us the tools we need! We will pay the price for using them!’”
If you would like to donate to our Front Line Ministry fund, please go to: www.vom.com.au/donate