Christians in Vietnam are virtually being denied the right to exist, according to a visit there by a representative of a Washington, DC, based ministry recently.
The leader, who asked that his name not be mentioned, visited Vietnam earlier this month to meet with local Christian leaders and learn their true status. Most of the Christians are found among ethnic minorities and suffer persecution.
"They have been denied the right to assemble, to speak, and to even exist," the leader told Christian Aid. "They seem to be literally cut off from the rest of the world. The Vietnamese government has stated over radio and TV that the Christians will be eliminated by the end of 2002 and that Christianity is an 'evil religion,' a 'tool of the United States,' and a 'CIA plot to attempt to win the war that the U.S. lost.'"
Christian Aid supports several ministries native to Vietnam, but the attitude of the Vietnam government makes publishing any information about them extremely risky.