Vietnam Government Forces Degar Christians to Join Evangelical Church of Vietnam
Vietnamese security police in the Central Highlands have reportedly spent the past few weeks of May visiting the villages of Degar Christians to demand that they join the government-sanctioned Evangelical Church of Vietnam (ECVN), threatening anyone who refuses to sign with imprisonment and torture. After 200 riot police surrounded her village on the 17th of this month, R’com H’Glah was imprisoned for refusing to join the ECVN and for leading many in her village to Christ.
5/26/08 Vietnam (MontagnardFoundation) The Degar people do not wish to join this government sponsored church because many of the procedures and routines in this church simply do not seem right by God. Due to the strong and threatening government presence in that church to the practices that border on government worship, we feel that this is not a true Christian Church.
On May 11, 2008, Vietnamese security police from the district of Cu Pah, in the province of Gialai, went to the village of Ploi Rwai in the commune of Ia Khuol and summoned around 70 Degar Christians to meet with them. At this meeting, the security police told all Degar Christians that they must sign a contract agreeing to stop conducting religious services in their home and only follow the Hoi Thanh Tin Lanh Vietnam (Evangelical Church of Vietnam ECVN). The Degar Christians refused to sign this agreement even though the police told them that anyone who refused to accept this church would be imprisoned and tortured.
On May 12, 2008, the Vietnamese’s People Committee of Ia Khuol commune summoned 20 of Degar Christians known to conduct services in their homes to their office; 35 Degar Christians went. When the 35 Degar Christians arrived at the office, the Vietnamese security police expressed hostility and anger that the Degar Christians refused to follow ECVN.
On May 17, 2008, the Vietnamese government sent approximately 200 riot police and soldiers equipped with helmets, shields, electrical batons, teargas to block every roads and trails surrounded the village of Ploi Rwai, commune of Ia Khuol in the district of Cu Pah of Gialai province where they arrested our Christian sister R’com H’Glah age 43 and took her to the prison facility in the district of Cu Pah. She was arrested because she refused to join the Vietnamese church and because she has been leading many people in her village and the surrounding villages to Christ by encouraging people to pray and reading God’s word in her home.