Vietnamese Officials Destroy Two New Church Buildings


Date:  2012-06-27

Third worship place threatened with demolition

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

CHA DISTRICT, DIEN BIEN PROVINCE, VIETNAM (ANS) -- Compass Direct News (CDN) is reporting that Vietnamese officials in Muong Cha district, Dien Bien Province, destroyed two new church buildings of ethnic minority Hmong Christians this month and threatened to tear down a third.

A distraught Hmong Christian family with a cross, all that remained of their
destroyed church

CDN said that the Ho He Church, erected in April by the unregistered Vietnam Good News Mission, was demolished on June 17.

It also reported that the Phan Ho Church of the registered Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North) was destroyed on June 13, 2012.

"The church building threatened with demolition, The Cong Church, also belongs to the Vietnam Good News Mission," said the CDN story. "As local police, paramilitary forces and other authorities descended on the church buildings by the dozens, the Christians could only watch with deep sadness and frustration as the houses of worship were reduced to rubble and government promises about freedom of religion were again broken, area sources said."

Colorful Hmong Christian women pictured during a church service in Vietnam

According to a trusted Compass source, these incidents, among other things, demonstrate the dysfunction of the government's church registration regime. More than half of Vietnam's Protestants remain unregistered, with many seeing their prospects for becoming legally recognized as hopeless.

"Hundreds of congregations have tried to apply for registration, only to have officials simply refuse to accept the applications. Others who apply to register are told they cannot because they are not legal, or that they can't register because there are no Christians where they live," the story added.

Vietnam was ranked 19th on the 2012 World Watch List of the 50 countries where persecution is worst, as determined by Christian support organization Open Doors.

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