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ICC Supports a Persecuted Montagnard Evangelist and His Family

05/05/2022 Vietnam (International Christian Concern) – Montagnard Christians living in the Central Highlands of Vietnam have been systematically persecuted by their government. Those who identify as Protestant or evangelical often face the most pressure and violence for their faith, especially in the remote areas of central and northern Vietnam. Many of them have fled to Thailand and other nearby countries to escape the oppression.

Sometimes, Vietnamese Christian leaders, such as deacons and pastors, befriend the religious police of Communist Vietnam and elevate allegiance to the Communist Party above their faith in God. This was the case with the church leadership of the congregation Evangelist Y Sac Mlo and his family belonged to. In 2021, they left the Evangelical Church of Vietnam – South to join the unregistered and banned Good News Mission Church, believing this church to be more faithful to the Scripture and to delivering the gospel message.

Since then, this devoted evangelist had been advocating for greater religious freedom for his ethnic community in Vietnam. Unfortunately, his religious and personal influence caused the communist police to target his family. His family is experiencing severe poverty far below the average poverty level in the disadvantaged Central Highlands, and his household is especially vulnerable due to his many children and the number of sick family members he is responsible for.

Through their violence and intimidation tactics, the communist religious police in the area expected to quickly break the family’s resolve to continue attending church and evangelizing. However, they have not succeeded.

ICC heard about the struggles of Y Sac Mlo and his family and provided financial support for them for six months to help them get through this difficult time.

The family lost their ancestral land after the government implemented its policy of consolidating small cropland holdings into industrial-size fields for larger-scale agriculture by agricultural companies run by people from the plains (who are the primary ethnic group of Vietnam called “Kinh” people). Therefore, the family had no dependable source of income or livelihood.

The financial support provided by ICC was used for things such as food, medicine, health care, improvements to the family’s home, and some planting supplies so that the family could farm the small plot of land they still had access to.

On March 16, 2022, Y Sac Mlo told ICC, “I am very grateful for the support of 44 million VND for my family of 9 including 3 young children. This helped our family survive in very difficult circumstances. Thank you for your kindness. I hope to have the opportunity to meet you in the future if given the opportunity.”

Please join ICC in prayer for Y Sac Mlo and his family, as well as for the other Christians suffering religious persecution at the hands of Vietnam’s communist government. Pray for the health of the house churches that are meeting in secret and pray that the police stop harassing and arresting Christians in Vietnam.

For interviews, please contact: press@persecution.org.  

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