Vietnam: Hmong Believers in Crucible of Persecution

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Reports out of Vietnam indicate that tribal believers, especially among the Hmong, are being cruelly pressured by the government to give up their faith and return to animism.

A taped message received by FEBC radio quoted a Hmong listener in Vietnam saying, "We don't know why our government has sent soldiers and policemen to guard all of the Christian villages. It seems as if we are criminals or are preparing to do something against the government. They watch every one of us very closely. We cannot hold church meetings any more. These officials also come to every Christian home and check for Bibles, hymnbooks and other literature. If they find anything, it will be burned."

Authorities expect every home to post an "evil spirit" symbol as proof of its following traditional religion. Any household that fails to have such a symbol will be fined up to $10--a steep penalty considering the average tribal village laborer earns $2 to $3 per month. Christian families also are put in jail with no questions asked. Some have even said that officials lace sugar with poison and then distribute it to Christian families who will die from eating it. The government's goal is to wipe out Christianity by the end of 2002.

"Last summer government authorities came and threatened seven Christians having Bible studies with death," a Vietnamese missionary recently told Christian Aid. "Five of them gave up out of fear, while the other two kept doing it. Also, our mother church was torn down by government order. Now the Christians gather on the floor of the church. Please pray for Christians here to stand firm in their faith regardless of difficulties."

To learn more how you can pray for believers in Vietnam, write and put MI-334 740-VTM on the writing line. Portions of this report were written with materials provided by FEBC and ASSIST News Service.