Prayer Service Disrupted; Six People Beaten and Injured
Violence against Christians in Vietnam Continues to Rage
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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April 20 The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.www.persecution.org, has just become aware of a recent attack against Christians meeting for prayer in southern Vietnam in the Binh Phuoc Province.
On April 16, 2004, a prayer meeting in Binh Phuoc was disrupted by 20 policemen and soldiers who attempted to force the believers to deny their faith and surrender all of their properties, including their homes. The Christians refused to do this, and as a consequence the police resorted to beating and torturing the Christians.
Six men were physically injured as a result of the beatings and were later taken to a local clinic for treatment. Onlookers could do nothing to prevent the abuse and were left crying and praying. Violence against Christians in Vietnam is occurring across the country, and the attacks are occurring more frequently with an escalation in intensity. The attack in Binh Phuoc comes on the heels of a massive slaying of Montagnard Christians from the Central Highlands over the Easter holiday. Thousands of Montagnard Christians participated in a peaceful prayer demonstration that was attacked by soldiers who tortured and beat hundreds of men, women, and children, and killed an unknown number of Christians. ICC is attempting to verify the number of victims.
The violence against Vietnamese Christians must stop. ICC urges all American Christians to contact the Vietnamese Embassy and firmly request that Christians be allowed to worship in freedom and that the attacks from the police and soldiers come to an end.
The Vietnam ambassador to the United States, H.E Nguyen Tam Chien, can be reached by phone: 202-861-2293, by fax: 202-861-0917, or by mail at 1233 20th St., NW suite 400, Washington, DC 20036.