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03/06/2023 Vietnam (International Christian Concern) – Over 14,000 people in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, attended the Spring Love Festival hosted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association from March 4-5.  

The event has made history as the first time the Communist Vietnamese government has given permission for an evangelistic outreach with a foreign speaker outside of a holiday.  

Rev. Franklin Graham, who is the president and CEO of the association, shared with the crowd, “God makes and creates you and loves you and Vietnam. Jesus is in the city tonight.” 

Over 900 pastors and church leaders from 60 denominations in Vietnam worked together to put on the historic event. Graham said that he was invited by local churches.  

Before the event, Graham reportedly met with Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai and other officials to discuss religious freedom in the country. 

ICC has previously reported on the persecution of Hmong Christians in Vietnam. Most Vietnamese follow traditional animist teachings, and many who convert to Christianity from the traditional faith face rejection and even persecution from their family members and communities.    

Additionally, Vietnamese authorities pressure animist relatives of Christian converts to drive Christians from their homes and exile them. The only hope these Christians have of rejoining their communities is if they renounce their new faith. 

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