Prayer Alert VOM Aus: VIETNAM: No Sanctuary for Degar Christians

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VIETNAM: No Sanctuary for Degar Christians

The Degar, or Montagnards, are collectively the indigenous tribal people of Vietnam. Today a remnant still survives in the Central Highlands, although systematic repression and violent persecution at the hands of the Communist regime in Hanoi threatens their existence.

Hanoi deems Degar Christianity a “reactionary” and “evil” religion. Those refusing to renounce their faith may expect prison and torture. Many have fled into Cambodia, which rejects them as illegal migrants and repatriates them at Vietnam’s request.

On 11 September the Cambodian government gave the UN refugee agency in Phnom Penh three months to repatriate some 200 Degar Christians or Cambodian security forces will do it themselves.

Vietnam has indicated that it is “ready to receive” the Montagnards and has assured the UNHCR that “it will not discriminate against or punish them.” But as noted by the deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, Phil Robertson, Vietnam’s assurances cannot be trusted, for Degar believers have been lured back before only to be arrested and tortured on arrival.

Source: Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin

Prayer Points

  • Pray the Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will protect the Degar Christian refugees.
  • Pray Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang will end the repression and violent persecution of Vietnam’s indigenous Degar Christians and that this crisis will shine a spotlight on Vietnam’s critical decline in religious freedom.
  • Pray the Lord will intervene for the Degar church; may they know His presence, comfort, provision and protection.

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VOM NZ Persecution Alert: Vietnam

17Vietnamese police employed thugs to ransack a church center and drag away nine Christians, who were then charged with not having proper ID papers – documents officials had confiscated from them in previous raids. The unregistered Mennonite Church led by Pastor Quang has been regularly attacked by police and gangs since June.

Pastor Quang and other church leaders issued an emergency, worldwide appeal following Wednesday night’s attack.

(Here are two excerpts from that appeal)

“They send gangs and thugs, strangers, masked people, and police of various units to harass and arrest us during the day and the night, when we worship, when we pray, when we have Bible study, when we have children’s classes, when we eat together, when we have school ceremonies” “We hope that members of our faith community everywhere will pray for our Mennonite church in Binh Duong at this time” they conclude. (Source: Morning Star, Release International, photo Vom USA)

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