Some members of the minority group of Montagnard Christians are fleeing persecution from the Central Highlands of Vietnam and seeking asylum in Cambodia. The number now stands at 32. The movement started in November 2014 and the last group arrived as late as January 17.
Hiding in the forests of Ratanakiri, they are faced with malaria infested mosquitoes and lack of food. They were quoted saying: “It is better to die of starvation in the jungle of Cambodia than to suffer persecution in Vietnam.” The latest news is that at least 40 more Montagnards might flee.
Daniel, persecution analyst for World Watch Research of Open Doors, says: “The Montagnards are a minority group that has been facing religious persecution for several years. According to a report of Human Rights Watch in 2011, they face serious crackdown from the authorities, especially those who worship in independent house churches. According to the report, the Vietnamese government has been steadily tightening the screws on independent Montagnard religious groups, claiming they are using religion to incite unrest.”
Vietnam ranks No. 16 on the Open Doors 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575.