New religion law in Vietnam fuels Christians’ fears
Please pray for our family in Vietnam as new laws on religion threaten to limit their freedoms.
Vietnam’s Law on Belief and Religion, which came into force on January 1, has alarmed Christians because it insists religious groups must be registered and approved by the Government. They also believe that the law’s vague wording could be exploited to limit church activities.
Please pray that Christians in Vietnam will know God’s peace and presence.
Despite some improvement in religious freedoms in Vietnam in recent years, some Christians continue to face intense pressure, especially those who speak out against corruption and rights abuses.
Christian lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and Pastor Nguyen Trung Ton are both still in custody in Hanoi since their arrests in December 2015 and July 2017 respectively – because they have called for greater religious freedom. They have been barred from meeting their lawyers.
Last month, Christian activist Maria Tran Thị Nga, a mother of two young children from Ha Nam province, was found guilty of ‘propaganda against the state’ and sentenced to nine years in prison and five years under house arrest. Her harsh sentence and irregularities relating to her trial have prompted an international outcry.
Christian bloggers have also been targeted: last week, a court in Nghe An province upheld a five-year prison sentence against Nguyen Van Oai for his pro-democracy campaigns.
- Thank God for the way that relations between the Government in Hanoi and religious groups have improved slightly in recent years. Pray that the new law will not threaten this progress.
- Pray that God will use His people who have spoken out about religious rights and about Him to draw many in Vietnam into a close personal relationship with Him.
- As part of our #PRAY50 campaign (see below), please pray that God will speak to the hearts of those who persecute our Christian family in Vietnam – and reveal His great love for them.
(Sources: AsiaNews, UCANews)