World Watch List: 20
Leader: President Trần Đại Quang
Population: 96.5 million
Christian: 8.5 million
Main Religion: Atheism/Traditional Beliefs
Government: Communist State
Source of Persecution: Communist Oppression
Open Doors supports the persecuted church in Vietnam through:
- Christians literature translation
- Biblical training
- Equipping children, youth, and women
- Socio-economic development
- Emergency aid relief
New law on religion
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is one of the few remaining countries still run by a Communist party. The regime acts against all religions in accordance with its ideology. It closely monitors all activities, and clamps down hard on any dissent. Christianity is seen as a Western belief, and Christians are often portrayed as a tool to reinstate colonial ideology. A new law on religion came into effect on January 2018, with regulations on church registration that could be mean lot of trouble.
Violent reactions to Christians
It is estimated that more than 80% of Protestant Christians in Vietnam are from minority ethnic groups. These groups have their own traditional beliefs and many engage in ancestral worship. The Christians in these communities are seen as traitors of their culture and identity, and often arouse violent reactions when their new faith is discovered. The community will cut off converts from resources, destroy their fields, and expel them from the villages. Local authorities enlist the help of the communities to monitor and restrict Christians.
Church leaders are targeted
The phone lines of some church leaders are tapped. Pastors and church leaders are frequently called in by the police and interrogated. In the Central Highlands, children of pastors are threatened with losing their jobs if they fail to convince their parents to stop preaching and teaching. Perpetrators of attacks against Christians are rarely brought to justice. In fact local authorities hire thugs do so.
- That new believers in rural areas are able to receive proper discipleship.
- For family members who are persecuting their Christian relatives. Pray that they will see Christ and His love through them.
- The government is working hard to curb the growth of churches. Pray that their efforts will be futile, and that the restrictions will be loosened.