Open Doors International is an organization that works to benefit persecuted believers in some of the world’s most oppressive countries.
One way Open Doors serves the persecuted church is through researching and compiling a list of the top 50 most persecuted churches in the world called the World Watch List.
Vietnam has been a regular on this list for many years.
This year, Vietnam is number 16 and labeled as a country where Christians face severe persecution for their faith.
Since communists gained control of Vietnam, Christians have faced persecution from the government. Though today Christianity is officially recognized as a religion of Vietnam, Christians still face intimidation from the authorities and are heavily monitored, especially in the north.
Many in the government continue to view Christianity as a threat from the West and place high restrictions on registering churches and distributing Christian materials.
However, Vietnamese Christians not only face persecution from the government, but from their families and communities as well. Families view new Christians as ancestor traitors because they will no longer carry on the traditions of spirit and ancestor worship. Many times Christians will be ostracized by communities who do not want negative attention from local authorities. This is especially prevalent in rural communities.
Though Christians in Vietnam face many different types of persecution, they are not giving up.
When we asked one pastor how we could pray for persecuted believers in Vietnam, he said something surprising: “We don’t pray for [persecution] to go away or for freedom…We pray for the gospel to have freedom to break through barriers.”
Another believer added, “We pray for God’s will to be done, and when persecution does come we pray for the believers to stand strong and be bold.”
Will you pray with these Vietnamese brothers?
Though their country ranks #16, Vietnamese Christians don’t want to stop sharing the love of Christ with their people. Join them by supporting them in prayer.
Here are a few ideas to help you start praying:
Pray for Christian leaders and pastors, especially those in the north and central highlands where authorities keep a close watch on their activities.
Pray for Christians who have been persecuted to remain strong in their faith and to boldly proclaim the gospel.