In 1954, Vietnamese forces overwhelmed and drove out the French Foreign Legion, a victory which ended French rule in Indochina. This would also unlock the door to an unstable future genocide and Christian persecution that continues to this day. Now, Vietnam is a one-party Communist state that severely restricts and monitors all Christian activity. Christianity is regarded as a western religion and is viewed as a threat to Communist authorities.
Government: The constitution provides for the freedom of worship; however, government restrictions remain on organized activities of many religious groups. The government maintains a prominent role overseeing officially recognized religions. Religious groups encounter the greatest restrictions when they are perceived by the government as a challenge to its rule or to the authority of the Communist party.
Persecution: Within Vietnam's Dak Lak Province, ICC has compiled a list of more than 300 Christians imprisoned by the Communist government. Prison conditions are extremely harsh, where religious and political prisoners frequently perish due to torture and starvation. Those arrested are not given a trial and are often never released. In keeping with its Christian persecution, Vietnam also sternly discriminates against women and ethnic minorities and condones forced child slave labor. In addition, cases and child prostitution are well known.
Among minorities most targeted by the Vietnamese government are the Montagnards, a generic term for minorities who live in the central mountainous regions, and the Hmong people. Thousands of these civilians have been hunted and killed, and there is overwhelming evidence of both chemical and biological warfare employed against them by the Lao military regime in cooperation with the Vietnam government. For these reasons, and due to religious persecution, hundreds of Hmong Christians have fled Vietnam and have become refugees in neighboring countries.
More than 750,000 of Vietnam's ethnic minority have converted to evangelical Christianity since 1975. In addition, there are eight million Catholics in Vietnam proper who continue to face repression for their faith. Church property is regularly confiscated by the government without redress. Hmong and Montagnard Christians continue to be doubly persecuted as both an ethnic and religious minority. By refusing to join the officially sanctioned Church, they face beatings and imprisonment, and have come to be defined historically as an exploited and oppressed peoples.