Hanoi House Church Leaders Attacked

Friday, November 18, 2011

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

HANOI, VIETNAM (Worthy News)-- A mob of men attacked leaders of a Baptist house church near Hanoi Sunday, seriously injuring a pastor and several others, including women and teenage children.

The injured include nine pastors as well as other church leaders and several of their teenage children. Pastor Nguyen Danh Chau suffered severe chest, stomach and head pain; others were punched in the mouth, face, chest and back from being savagely kicked after they were beaten to the floor.

The leaders of the Agape Baptist Church were taking part in a spiritual renewal meeting at Chau's home in Lai Tao village, My Duc district, when the mob began beating them; the mob then overturned a pulpit and ripped a cross from the wall that was later thrown into a nearby pond. Before leaving, the mob destroyed the Chau's family garden and fruit trees.

The mob also warned Chau that they would kill him if he continued evangelizing.

Ironically, the attack occured on the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, which is observed worldwide by thousands of churches affiliated with the World Evangelical Alliance.

After meeting with the injured, Agape Baptist Church leader Nguyen Cong Thanh said: "All they could do was weep, and I also could not prevent my tears from flowing. Why do they gratuitously beat servants of the Lord like this? What crime have they committed; what enemies have they made? All we want to do is gather people to worship and serve God and our fellowman ..."

Established in 2007, the Agape Baptist Church is an unregistered house church of about 2,000 members, many of them located in, or near Hanoi.