Christians in Vietnam recently faced physical abuse and persecuition for refusing to bow to a statue of Buddha.
Pastor Hoang Van Pa brought this incident to light by reporting it to the watchdog platform, International Christian Concern (ICC). The pastor claimed that officials from the Vietnamese government collected information on churchgoers before enforcing an open trial of the Christians.
Police officers placed a statue of the Buddha before the believers and asked them to worship the image and renounce their faith in Christianity. Four members of the group were then arrested and physically beaten for refusing to worship something other than Jesus.
The Hmong community in Vietnam is repeatedly targeted by the Vietnamese government and other nearby regions. The ICC reports that this is due to its larger quantity of Christians and minorities. As this persecution continues, members of the community face discrimination and potential personal attacks, such as the one reported above.
According to christianpost.com, As Dzung, the representative of the Interdisciplinary Inspection Team in Vietnam, reinforced the notion that the nation of Vietnam has officially “banned the Protestant Christian faith and seeks to expel those who refuse to renounce their faith in Jesus.” This past year saw the expulsion of over 100 Christians from different provinces in Vietnam as the government takes measures to limit the number of Protestant Christians practicing their faith in the country.
The communist regime in Vietnam sees Christianity as “unpatriotic or a threat to the regime,” according to ICC’s Regional Manager Gina Goh, this puts Christians at an increased risk–especially in the Hmong community, where the ICC warns persecution is likely to increase in 2019.
Christians and non-Christians should watch closely the pattern in communist countries of limiting the freedom of personal expression and liberty.
Christians continue to work hard in Vietnam, with missionaries delivering children’s Bibles to various regions. The persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA has reported that a Christian man by the name of Bao has repeatedly risked his life to spread the word of Christ. He has delivered over 100,000 Bibles through the Open Doors Children’s Bible Project.
Despite the intense persecution by the communist government, Christianity continues to prevail within the hearts of many people in Vietnam. The world should take notice of the struggle of these Christians, and spread the message of their continued plight to share the gospel. These human rights offenses to limit religious freedom should not be taken lightly. Christians and non-Christians should watch closely the pattern in communist countries of limiting the freedom of personal expression and liberty.