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Vietnamese Christian Church Burned Down, Believers Flee into Jungle

ICC Note:

Church is burned down in Vietnam by the government and Christians are coerced to say the will give up unsanctioned religious practice.

12/4/09 Vietnam (Montagnard Foundation) — On April 11, 2009 at 8am Vietnamese government forces burned down a Christian Church located at Plei Todrah village, commune Ro Pang, district Amang Yang in Pleiku province, Vietnam. Then on June 11, 2009 security forces and government officials came back to the village and forced the villagers to attend a meeting where they were threatened with arrest if they tell anyone how the church was destroyed. The security forces told them that if anyone asked about the charred ruins to say that they themselves did it because they wanted to build a new church.

The security forces then told the villagers that they will give them money to rebuild a new church if they agree to sign a document stating they will follow the government sanctioned religion. On June 14, 2009 the security forces tried giving the villagers $200 (U.S currency). The villages however, refused the money and refused to sign the documents. Four of the villagers representing the village had spoken out against signing the documents and now these four Christians have fled to the jungle as security forces threatened to arrest them. All four are from the village of Plei To Drah, commune Ro Pang, district Amang Yang, in Pleiku province. The security police are now searching for these four Christians who remain in hiding. We note that numerous NGOs and government agencies have long documented abuse and torture of house Church Christians and today hundreds of Degar Montagnards remain in Vietnam’s prisons. The families of these four villagers who remain in hiding greatly fear for their welfare as security police are currently searching to arrest them. The names of these four Christians now in hiding are:

1. Lo Ren So Blei (born in 1972)

2. Lo Ren So Bro (born 1963)

3. Po Le Wok (born 1984)

4. Lo Ren So Hnup (born on 5 December 1988)