Vietnamese Christians often face persecution for their faith. Living in a communist country, they are often watched and called in for questioning by the authorities. Christianity is still viewed by many in the communist government as a Western influence. Though today Christians still face pressure from the government, much of the persecution is from their families and communities. As new Christians leave the life of ancestor worship, they are labeled as traitors to their families. Communities often shun Christians because they are wary of the communist government.
The story below is based on a true story, though names and some details have been changed for security reasons. This story is an example of the more aggressive persecution that Christians have faced in Vietnam. It is not intended to represent all of the levels of persecution found in Vietnam, as some Christians face milder pressure than the story below.
Pastor Dun* lay on the ground covered in his own sweat and blood. Authorities ordered him to sign a paper promising to never return to the village to worship God. He refused again, and they brought out the electric batons, beating him over the head and shattering his knee. As his shrieks echoed through the village, Dun’s wife rushed into the room to stop the beatings. Soon she was also on the floor, unconscious, after being pushed against the wall.
Despite severe beatings from morning until afternoon, local authorities could not break Dun and the other Christians. It was their last effort in silencing a growing church movement in the rural village. Previously, officials had refused to register the church and collected names of all the members for several rounds of interrogations. Many were afraid and abandoned the faith, but others would not be intimidated.
Pastor Dun and other Christians knew that their fellow believers needed support, so they came from a nearby village to worship and encourage the church. Dun was no stranger to the authorities, especially after being a part of several church plants in the area. Though they sought to tear him down and silence the movement of God among the villagers, officials could not deter Dun and his fellow believers from worshipping God. Today, there is still a church in this village and believers remain faithful to the Lord despite persecution.
Pray for church leaders like Dun to be bold in their faith and encourage their congregations to stand up for Christ no matter the obstacle.
Pray for the gospel to continue to spread in remote areas like Dun’s village and for more churches to be planted.
* Name changed
Throughout the month of May 2015, we are asking individuals, families, groups of friends, small groups, and churches to join with us and commit to pray for the peoples of Vietnam. We will be posting stories and sharing ways to pray daily through the blog, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also download a prayer guide and other resources here.