ICC Note: The condition of the church in Vietnam is much like that of China in that Christians flock to underground house churches rather than state-sponsored ones so that they are at true liberty to learn Scripture and worship God as they please. Unfortunately, the Vietnamese highlanders have faced violent authorities perhaps even more frequently than the Chinese have had to contend with. Once a haven for Christianity and the church, the highlands of Vietnam are being systematically purged of Christian influence. The Communist regime orchestrating the purge has recently sought to abolish its legal mandate to follow international human rights standards in its treatment of citizens, as if its habits of unlawful detention, torture, and murder were not severe enough. In the midst of it all, Vietnamese Christians have proven incredibly resilient and faithful to God.
7/22/2016 Vietnam (christiantoday) – More than 100 Vietnamese Christian pastors have been locked up and are at risk of being poisoned for refusing to sign up to a central, official church, according to Christian Aid Mission.
It appears the aim of the official church was to control and diminish the influence of the thriving independent house churches. One group of house churches with a total membership of 3,000 was ordered to merge congregations and meet in a building that can hold just 500.
The jailed church leaders are from villages in Vietnam’s central highlands. Many had fled the area or even the country but were forced to return and are now believed to be in jail.
Ministry leader Su, who himself served a term in prison between 1975 and 1984, said: “The government wants to combine them to limit their growth and have more control. If the pastors refused to sign a paper saying they would combine and that their gatherings would not go over 500 people, they would be beaten or thrown into prison.”
Prison conditions are harsh and primitive, says Christian Aid Mission.