World Watch List: 20
Leader: President Nguyễn Phú Trọng
Population: 96.5 million
Christian: 8.6 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
Source of persecution: Communist and post-Communist oppression / Ethnic antagonism
Christians are seen as dangerous
The ruling Communist party sees the Christian church as a dangerous group easily capable of mobilising masses of people, and thus employs all tactics to restrict them. There has been a tightening of social controls and media censorship by the government, especially on the Internet. The new law on religion that came into effect on January 2018 continues to make it very difficult for churches to register. Every October, registered churches have to submit the topics of their sermons for the coming year. 186 Christians were arrested in the WWL19 reporting period.
Vulnerable to false teaching
Many Christians lack basic biblical knowledge and are vulnerable to false teachings, a problem that church leaders view as more threatening than persecution. Training for churches is difficult as the movement of leaders are monitored, many of them are in remote areas, and access to some villages is restricted.
Converts seen as traitors
Many Christians belong to minority ethnic groups which have their own traditional beliefs like ancestral worship. Those who converted to Christianity are seen as traitors of their tribal identity, or abandoning their families. To protect the culture of the tribe, believers are forced to keep following the traditions and customs of their community, cut off from resources, beaten, or kicked out of the village altogether. Students are neglected in school and insulted, if they are allowed to attend in the first place. In the Central Highlands, grown-up children of pastors are threatened with losing their jobs if they fail to convince their parents to stop preaching and teaching.
- 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.