ICC Provides Support to a Group of Hmong Christians in Vietnam
By Linda Jones
02/08/2018 Washington, DC (International Christian Concern) – Like other minority groups living under the authoritarian regimes of Southeast Asia, Vietnam’s Hmong community is regularly marginalized and harassed both by the government and neighbor communities because of its ethnic background and Christian faith. Many persecuted victims remain quiet because they don’t know where to find resources and help.
International Christian Concern (ICC) and our partners in Vietnam have created a training program to help members of the Hmong community identify and report issues of abuse and persecution. The number and complexity of needs among the Hmong means this will be a recurring project requiring long-term commitment.
ICC started supporting this project in January 2017 and, by the end of the quarter, we were able to train 11 community members with the necessary tools to further their work as human rights defenders in their own community. The first training included roundtable, workshop, and seminar formats where participants shared their experiences and challenges, participated in hands-on exercises, and learned best practices.
A primary goal is to gather firsthand accounts of abuses taking place within the Montagnard and Hmong communities. These accounts are later used to apply pressure on the authorities and raise awareness about the issues Vietnamese Christians face. Several reports have already been compiled and sent to the United Nations for review with details and names of specific individuals who have been persecuted and harassed by the Vietnamese government.
The training and support for these members continued throughout 2017 and, by the end of the year, we had already trained 16 members who became the core team in reporting and presenting persecution issues. We hope to grow this team as we are training a new group this year with the same tools we provided to the first group and we expect this knowledge to expand within the community. Fortunately, the implementation of this project has allowed us to meet with other international advocates both in and outside of Vietnam who are also concerned with the problems that Christians face throughout Southeast Asia.
As more phases continue to be developed and implemented for this project, we ask that you pray for God’s guidance and provision. It is important to teach Christians in Vietnam how to defend their rights and stop the oppression they live in because they have chosen to follow Christ. Remember to also pray for Christians throughout Southeast Asia who face different levels of persecution and continue to be trapped in a nightmare.
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