World Watch List: 21
Leader: President Nguyễn Phú Trọng
Population: 97.4 million
Christian: 8.7 million
Main Religion: Atheism/Traditional Beliefs
Government: Communist State
Source of Persecution: Communist Oppression
Open Doors supports the persecuted church in Vietnam through:
- Bible distribution, and Christian literature translation and distribution
- Biblical training
- Equipping children, youth, and women
- Socio-economic development
- Emergency aid relief
”After I prayed to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, I knew there would be persecution by my village. I decided to follow Christ everywhere however… There was something unexplainable in my heart that said: ‘Don’t go back, just follow Christ.'”
– Choj, a Hmong believer in Vietnam
Source of persecution: Communist and post-Communist oppression / Ethnic antagonism
Ever since the end of the US-Vietnam War in 1975, Vietnam has been a Communist state to this day. Christianity, which is seen as a Western religion, is tightly controlled by the government. Christian activities are monitored and all believers feel a high level of pressure because of their faith. Local communities would often assist in monitoring Christians. Pastors and church leaders are frequently called in by the police and interrogated.
Villagers collude with the authorities
Two-thirds of Protestant Christians in Vietnam come from the ethnic minority groups living in the highlands. They face the greatest persecution, which includes harassment, violent attacks and social exclusion. Villagers collude with local authorities, beating believers, kicking them out of their villages and stoning places of worship during meetings. Non-Christian relatives cut family ties and deny inheritance. Local and national government authorities persecute the Christian minority through their laws, and Christian bloggers and political activists have been arrested and sentenced. Over three hundred believers were attacked or arrested in the WWL2020 reporting period. Christian children from these groups face discrimination and bullying at school, some are not even allowed to be in school.
Believers who converted from their tribe’s traditional faith are seen as traitors to their tribal identities. To make them return, tribal leaders would cut Christians off from resources or destroy their fields.
- Thank God for believers like Choj who have been convicted by the Holy Spirit to follow Christ no matter the cost. Pray that they will continue to be strengthened for the journey ahead.
- For Christian children who are feeling discouraged because of the bullying they face at school. Pray that they will keep their eyes on Jesus, and find encouragement in Him.
- For pastors and church leaders to have wisdom in leading and shepherding their congregations in the midst of the restrictions from the government.