A Vietnamese Lutheran pastor who was imprisoned for fighting for religious freedom was recently placed in isolation and has not been allowed to contact his family after seeking equal rights with other prisoners. Pastor Chinh, 50, was arrested and sentenced to eleven years in prison in 2011 “for defending the religious freedom of Christians in the central highlands. He was charged with violating Article 87 of the Vietnam penal code for ‘undermining national solidarity.’
According to the Gospel Herald, the authorities claim that in prison, Chinh incited other prisoners to go on a hunger strike to demand the normally allotted five-minute phone call per month to their families. His wife, Tran Thi Hong, reported that when her husband and the others asked for equal treatment regarding the phone calls, broken glass, lead, and dead flies was mixed into their food. He was then unexpectedly transferred to Xuan Loc Prison in Dong Nai province. His family did not learn of the transfer until his wife Tran Thi Hong went to visit him on Dec.12 and was told by prison authorities that her husband had been moved.
Hong has been advocating for the welfare of her husband and others to news sources, asserting that the prisoners are being treated inhumanely without just cause. Upon arrival at Xuan Loc Prison, Chin’s belongings were confiscated, including his Bible, and his wife has not been permitted to provide him with food, medicine and clothes. He is kept in isolation and only given food twice a day through a small window. Hong is concerned for his health, fearing that he is too weak to survive until the end of his sentence.
Vietnam is number twenty on the Open Doors’ World Watch List of countries where Christian persecution is most severe. Most of the persecution stems from communist oppression.
Source: Gospel Herald
We pray, Father, for Pastor Chinh as he suffers hardship in prison. We pray for his health and for his safety in the midst of harsh, inhumane treatment, and for his early release. As he serves You there even in this dark time in his life, we pray that Your presence in him will be apparent to other prisoners and to the guards. We pray for his wife Tran Thi Hong that she will be allowed to bring food, clothes and medicine to him and care for his health. And we pray for religious freedom to come to the nation of Vietnam that Christians might worship openly and that the gospel of Christ might be proclaimed in great power and authority. In the name of Jesus at whose name one day, every knee will bow and tongue confess that He is Lord of all. Amen.