Hanoi Bible Students Arrested
As students gathered for a Bible class, Hanoi security forces arrived and arrested the assembled believers. Pastor Nguyen* reported Jan. 23 that “Last week we were arrested by Hanoi security during our Bible class. All students had to stay in the police station and were divided one-by-one to write about what we were doing. The foreign missionary leading our class was charged 1,000 USD and expelled from the country.”
Christians in Vietnam have been experiencing an increase in persecution. Historically Christian communities are often subject to arrests and land grabbing by the authorities. Converts to Christianity from Buddhist or ethnic-animist backgrounds face the strongest persecution, however, not only from the authorities, but also from families, friends and neighbors. Protestant Christian believers tend to gather in house-churches for fellowship, and their members face discrimination at various levels of society. On November 18, 2016, the communist government of Vietnam adopted a new Law on Belief and Religion, which further limits freedom of religion considerably.
Father, thank You for Your protection over these fellow Christians who were arrested. We pray against such arrests and that what the government would use to bring down Your church, You will use to fan into flame the faith of many and to spread Your Gospel across the nation, into villages and towns throughout the land, that a mighty throng of believers might be set free to love and serve You through faith in Christ and unleashed with the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim freely that Jesus Christ is Lord. In the name of Jesus who reigns and will return again for His church. Amen.