Montagnard House Church in Central Vietnam Faces Shutdown
Local Authorities Plan to Close the Church on October 14
10/12/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on October 7, local authorities attempted to shut down a Montagnard church and took their leader in for interrogation in Daklak Province, Vietnam.
On Sunday morning, more than 20 churchgoers gathered at the home of Christian leader Ama Sim for service. Approximately 13 officials from the Cuor Dang commune and Cu M’Gar district suddenly entered the home as the group was praying.
Officials asked the members to stop their religious activities and leave. The group refused and responded by saying that if any action were to be taken, it must be after their service.
Given the cramped space, the officials could not enter and only stood at the door until the group finished. They then demanded that Ama Sim be taken back to their office for investigation. The church refused, worrying that he might disappear if taken into custody, so they stood their ground until the officials relented.
Finally, the officials threatened them, saying, “We are giving you [a] warning this time, but next Sunday if you still gather, we will bring more crowds to shut you down.”
The church is asking for prayer for the Ede Border Evangelical Group, in Cuor Dang Commune, M’Gar District, Daklak Province.
The communist government in Vietnam is nervous about large gatherings of people for fear of ‘subversive activities.’ Many religious gatherings fall victim to this suspicion, with believers often attacked, detained, or imprisoned on trumped up charges.
Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “Montagnard Christians in Vietnam have long faced persecution and discrimination for their ethnicity, Christian faith, and role of fighting alongside the US during the Vietnam War. It is shameful that the government continues to violate the freedom of belief and religion, as enshrined in Vietnam’s constitution, especially toward minorities.”
For interviews with Gina Goh, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org