Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Monday, December 9th, 2013
Vietnam, one of the five remaining Communist nations on earth, has just passed a revised constitution, ostensibly aimed at "reflecting the democratic and progressive nature" of a changing Vietnam. Human rights activists however agree that the new document does little if anything to curb the authority or power of the government to crack down on and imprison groups or individuals it takes issue with. Among these are millions of Christians, especially in the more rural ethnic areas, who face imprisonment and beatings for worshiping in unregistered house churches.
Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
Vietnamese authorities in the province of Bac Ninh have recently drawn up new rules that would severely limit religious activity in their area. Catholic church leaders have spoken out publicly against the new rules, which they described as "useless nonsense" requiring Christians to obtain permission before hand for nearly all types of religious activity. Vietnam, one of the five remaining Communist nations on earth, is still highly restrictive when it comes to freedom of religion. Christians, especially Protestant Christians belonging to ethnic minorities, regularly face arrest and harassment at the hands of authorities.
Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
As one of the five remaining Communist nations on earth, Vietnam continues to pursue a policy of tight control over the spread of religion, and especially Christianity. Only a few denominations are recognized as legal, and anyone that chooses to worship in their home or a church not a part of one of those denominations can be arrested and imprisoned. In this case, despite being a part of a recognized church, two Catholic parishioners were arrested for unclear reasons. Their arrest sparked protests which were brutally crushed by Vietnamese security forces. Last week, the two were sentenced to several months in prison.
Friday, November 1st, 2013
Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation. While Christians and Muslims have generally coexisted peacefully, an Islamist insurgency in the North has subjected a great many of Nigeria's Christians to persecution. The Pew Research study referenced here indicates that Nigeria may hold the largest number of persecuted Christians on Earth.
Thursday, October 31st, 2013
Catholic leaders in Vietnam earlier this week boldly published an open critique of the Vietnam's government recent sentencing of two parishioners. The sentence,for allegedly causing "public disorder", upset many in the Christian community who had been campaigning for their release. In one protest for the two prisoners last month, Vietnamese police brutally broke up the gathering using stun batons and attack dogs, leaving dozens injured. The Vietnamese government retains tight control over all religious group, selectively choosing which organizations may register and which are considered illegal. Thousands of house churches gather in Vietnam each week without legal registration and are subject to raids, searches, and arrests.
Monday, October 21st, 2013
A new report has just emerged on the treatment of Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh, a 44-year-old Mennonite minister sentenced last year to 11 years in prison for allegedly attempting to "undermine national unity." The charge is a common one used by the Vietnamese government to detain political prisoners, including pastors who refuse to stop conducting ministry work without government permission. Pastor Nguyen has been attacked several times by fellow inmates while prison authorities refuse to offer any assistance. Earlier this year ICC received information on more than 60 pastors who remain behind bars in Vietnam.
Sunday, October 20th, 2013
Recent attempts to seize land belonging to a Monastery in Hanoi characterize Vietnam’s historic habit of persecuting the Christian minority to wipe out their influence in the country.
Saturday, October 19th, 2013
Earlier this month Christian leaders in Vietnam joined with leaders from other faiths to accuse the Vietnamese government of working to destroy religion in the country. Vietnam's Christians continue to face a wide range of restrictions on practicing their faith and those who choose to worship without government permission often face harassment, arrest, and sometimes long-term imprisonment. In recent weeks Catholic protesters have especially faced severe treatment by Vietnamese authorities using brutal methods to crack down on dissent.
Thursday, October 10th, 2013
In recent weeks tensions have skyrocketed between Catholics and the Vietnamese government. Much of it was spurred by an attack by Vietnamese police on September 4th that injured dozens of parishioners peacefully protesting the unlawful arrest of two fellow believers. The Communist Party of Vietnam maintains a very uneasy relationship with the Catholic church and regularly tries to repress protests by members.
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
In July, International Christian Concern (ICC) received a tragically long list from a well-placed contact in Vietnam. The list contained the names of 63 Christian pastors and church leaders who remain locked up in deplorable conditions in four prison camps around the country. The prison sentences received by each are staggeringly long, ranging from five to eighteen years.
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
For several weeks the Catholic community of Vietnam has been involved in large-scale prayer vigils on behalf of two wrongfully imprisoned parishioners. On October 6th AsiaNews reports that at least 50,000 Catholics gathered in support of the prisoners and to protest persecution by the government. On September 4th police launched one of the bloodiest crackdowns on Christians in recent memory, opening fire on Catholic protesters and injuring dozens. During the October 6th protests Vietnamese and military have conducted large scale training exercises nearby, a show of force no doubt designed to deter the Christian community from further action.
Monday, October 7th, 2013
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
Vietnam, one of the worlds five remaining Communist states, has just sentenced Catholic lawyer and activist Le Quoc Quan to 2 1/2 years in prison on trumped up charges of tax fraud. The sentencing came despite unusually large protests by Christians and others outside the courthouse in Hanoi, the capital. Quan has called for democratic reforms and religious freedom in Vietnam, where millions of Christians still practice their faith in sometimes hostile conditions. Christians among the ethnic communities, especially in the Central Highlands and Northwest Mountainous Regions, face some of the most severe forms of persecution, including harassment, beatings, and imprisonment. The government of Vietnam aims to continually control the growth of Christianity, which is perceived as a Westernized faith and a threat to Communist control.
Monday, September 30th, 2013
Under the one-party rule of Communist Vietnam, Christians are still considered something of a threat to government control and a "Western" influenced religion. The Catholic Church of Vietnam has especially faced pressure for campaigning to have land returned to the Church appropriated by the Communist government first in the North and then later in South Vietnam. Thousands gathered on Sunday in to pray for Le Quoc Quan, a Catholic lawyer and activist whose outspoken stance against the government has landed him in jail on trumped up charges of tax fraud.
Thursday, September 26th, 2013
Government repression of the Christian minority in Vietnam appears to be proceeding on multiple fronts. In the court system a falsely accused Catholic activist goes on trail this week just after State backed media concluded a "smear" campaign attempting to discredit multiple Christian victims of a recent police crackdown. In addition the wife and children of one imprisoned Mennonite minister were confined to home by government officials in an apparent attempt to stop them from visiting their husband and father in prison.
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
On September 4th, Vietnamese authorities launched one of the most brutal attacks on a gathering of Christians in recent memory. Using attack dogs, tear gas, and stun batons police injured more than 40 Catholics protesting the arrest of two fellow church members. Police then tried to prevent the wounded from receiving hospital treatment. After the attack, state backed media proceeded to smear the Catholic leaders involved in the protest, calling them "liars" and attempting to "incite revolt." Now bishops from the Hanoi ecclesiastical province have officially joined in support of the parish of My Yen (the parish that was attacked). The move draws clear lines between Catholic leaders willing to oppose the Communist government and those who are members of the Committee of Vietnamese Catholics, a state-backed Catholic organization considered illegal by the Vatican.
Monday, September 23rd, 2013
Since the Communist takeover of Northern Vietnam in 1945 Christians, and especially Catholics, have been forced to relinquish large amounts of property to the government. Today the Communist Party continues to take expropriate land owned by the Catholic church despite protests and petitions on behalf of the Christian community. Recently the "Department for Urbanism" issues a new expropriation order for land in Northeastern Vietnam owned by the Church since 1928. The Communist Party views the growth of Christianity as a threat to its autocratic control and regularly discriminates against Christians, whether via land seizures, strict regulations on church registration, and even the outright harassment and arrest of pastors, especially those belonging to ethnic minorities.
Monday, September 16th, 2013
The Vietnamese government, including its State-run TV channels, have continued their efforts to slander and silence the country’s Catholic church who has spoken out about the illegal imprisonment of two parishioners. The incident has drawn attention of many observers both inside and outside of the country.
Thursday, September 12th, 2013
On September 4th hundreds, if not thousands, of Vietnamese police and soldiers attacked a group of Catholic protesters in Nghe An province. Dozens of Christians were injured and some hospitalized after the attack, though reports say that police also tried to prevent the hospital from treating some of the injured Christians. The group of Christians had come out to peacefully protest the wrongful detention of two fellow parishioners by police in July. The Communist government of Vietnam still works actively to monitor and control the growth of Christianity, especially among ethnic groups such as the Hmong, through the use of intimidation tactics, arrest, and imprisonment.
Thursday, September 5th, 2013
In what may be the largest incident of its kind in recent years thousands of police in Vietnam's North-Central Nghe An Province brutally attacked Catholic protesters seeking the release of two arrested parishioners. One report cited more than 3,000 police and military involved in the crackdown, which took place on Wednesday. An unknown number of Catholics were severely injured and transported to hospital for treatment. Catholics in Vietnam are subject to tight restrictions by the still-Communist Vietnamese government. Many Catholics seeking the return of Church land since the Communist takeover in 1975 through protest marches and prayer vigils have faced violent repression at the hands of authorities.
Friday, August 16th, 2013
Archbishop Girelli, a representative of the Vatican, recently encouraged the Catholic community of Vietnam by calling on every nation to respect their basic human rights. Vietnamese Catholic represent approximately 10% of the Vietnamese population and have faced heavy repression at the hands of the Vietnamese government. Recently a group of Vietnamese Christians praying outdoors in Ho Chi Minh City were attacked by police and many were hauled away into buses and several were hospitalized. Despite claiming to allow complete religious freedom Christians, including Catholic and Protestants, are closely monitored and controlled.
Saturday, August 10th, 2013
North Korea is universally accepted as the worst persecutor of Christians on earth today. It is completely illegal to practice Christianity or distribute any form of Christian literature. Kenneth Bae, an American citizen, was arrested while leading guided tours into the country in November of 2012. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly planning "hostile actions" against the state. More than likely he was arrested for missionary activities and is being used by the North Korean regime as a pawn to get concessions from the United States. In a recent letter to his family Kenneth says his health is declining after only a few months of serving his sentence.
Saturday, August 10th, 2013
Although the Vietnamese government publicly claims to allow complete religious freedom in the country, mountains of evidence prove this simply isn't the case. Heavy restrictions on worship remain and arrests, sometimes violent, of religious minorities occur on a regular basis. Often the worst treatment is reserved for ethnic Christians from more remote regions who leave their traditional beliefs. In this story we discover that "Bao", who converted to Christianity only last month, has been beaten and electrocuted after being told he could no longer live in his village with his new faith and was blocked from buying food.
Friday, August 2nd, 2013
Wednesday morning an unknown number of Catholic parishioners praying outside of a Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City were attacked by police and hauled away in buses. According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide the attack left at least several Christians hospitalized. Catholics in Vietnam, who number more than six million, have in recent years been asking that lands confiscated from the Church in the 1950's be returned. Prayer vigils and land protests have been violently broken up by police. Although religious freedom is technically protected by the Vietnamese Constitution, in practice local authorities often use violent force to dissuade Christians from taking part in unsanctioned activities.
Thursday, August 1st, 2013
An important piece of legislation that could potentially greatly improve conditions for Christians living in Vietnam may be coming to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote next week. H.R. 1897, the Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2013, would require the U.S. to stop increasing non-humanitarian aid to Vietnam until "substantial" progress has been made by Vietnam on improving human rights standards. Numerous restrictions are placed on Christian worship services in Vietnam and ethnic Christians such as the Hmong still face regular persecution in the form of arrest, harassment, physical beatings, and in some severe cases, murder.
Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
The following report was published yesterday by Mission Network News. It's unclear if the couple attacked by police in this report are associated with the families that ICC reported were being harrassed in Lao Cai Province last month. What the report does emphasize is that Vietnamese Christians still face severe treatment at the hands of authorities for choosing to follow after Christ. Although it is technically illegal to do so, police and local authorities regularly attempt to intimidate newly converted families into recanting their new "Western" faith and returning to their original belief system.
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
Last Tuesday, fans of Western fast food chains among Vietnam’s 88 million citizens had cause to rejoice as McDonald’s announced they would be opening their very first restaurant in the country. Unfortunately for the highly controlled and sometimes violently repressed religious minorities of Vietnam, the announcement brings little comfort.
Wednesday, July 17th, 2013
This year the number of Vietnamese refugees arriving by boat on Australian shores has risen 30-fold, from fewer than 50 last year to 759 so far in 2013. This rise is believed to be a result of the Vietnamese government cracking down on Catholic dissidents, the underground Catholic church, and human rights activists, many of whom have been imprisoned this year. While conditions have improved for Vietnam's 1.5 million Protestants and 8.5 million Catholics over the past decade, severe restrictions on freedom of worship remain and persecution is still a regular occurrence.
Monday, July 1st, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) has just learned that police officers attacked a Christian couple in Lào Cai province, Vietnam, last Monday after the couple refused to recant their newly found Christian faith. Police repeatedly struck both the husband and wife until the wife began bleeding, at which point police halted the beating and released her.
Saturday, June 29th, 2013
As a nation with some of the worst Christian persecution in East Asia good news is often hard to come by. But the determined efforts of Christians advocating on behalf of four families that had faced severe persecution and the loss of almost all of there belongings paid off when the Vietnamese government agreed to resettle the families and provide them with some compensation. The positive turn of events is a strong reminder that the persistent pressure of advocacy can and does make a difference in the lives of Christians around the world persecuted for their faith.