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(Compass) – The Vietnam Evangelical Fellowship (VEF) has just released a statement on Vietnam ’s new Ordinance on Religion, due to take effect on November 15. The VEF is an organization of about 30 unregistered house church organizations representing many hundreds of house churches. The August 30 letter states, “This Ordinance will create many problems and disadvantages for the church, especially for our gatherings for worship. At the same time, it is likely to permanently outlaw our house church organizations, none of which have been recognized since 1975. Many articles in this Ordinance will also provide a legal basis for local authorities to hinder and persecute the church.” It is a courageous statement, especially in that it asks prayer for the government of Vietnam to withdraw the Ordinance issued on June 18, and to stop all forms of persecution and hindrances to the church’s activities.