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Vietnam: Christian family of 13 expelled from their village

Here yet again we see officials who should be protecting the rights of all citizens aiding and abetting the persecution of Christians.

Vietnam is under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, which is subject to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Russian Orthodox Church also has one parish in the Vietnamese port city of Vung Tau. Otherwise, most Christians in Vietnam are Roman Catholic or Protestant.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Vietnam at ChristianPersecution.com, see here.

“Protestant family of 13 expelled from their village,” by Truong Son, Radio Free Asia, June 21, 2022:

A family of 13 in Vietnam’s Nghe An province say they are being persecuted by local authorities for religious reasons. They told RFA at least one child was denied a birth certificate because the parents refused to renounce Protestantism.

On June 15, Xong Ba Thong, from Na Ngoi commune in Ky Son district, sent a report to the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (Northern region). The report said his family faced persecution in Ka Duoi village even though it had been granted approval to join a legal religious organization.

Expelled for following Christianity

According to RFA research, the family of 26-year-old Xong Ba Thong has lived in this area for generations. The ethnic Hmong family had traditionally followed the local custom of spirit-worshiping.

Thong said that around 2017, his entire family including his parents, younger siblings and himself voluntarily converted to Protestantism after learning about the religion through radio broadcasts.

Around 2019, local authorities began demanding that the family renounce Protestantism and forced them to return to the local custom.

“They said that here in Ky Son district, Na Ngoi commune and the whole of Nghe An province, no one followed a religion, but they said it was against the law to follow another religion. They also said that [by following Protestantism] we have greatly affected national unity,” Thong said.

The family wanted to be officially converted to Protestantism and applied to join the Vietnam Evangelical Church (Northern) General Assembly. The application was approved in April this year.

Instead of acknowledging the church’s approval and allowing Mr. Thong’s family to convert, local authorities increased pressure on them to try to force them to give up their religious beliefs.

Local officials repeatedly visited their house to try to persuade family members to renounce Protestantism. They also repeatedly summoned Thong to the commune headquarters for “work”, including spending time with the cadres of Ky Son district on May 17. Thong said the “work” revolved around the request for his family to renounce Protestantism.

“The day I met the district delegation, I read the law on belief and religion to them all and showed them all, but they said the law has no effect here, has no effect in the district, this province,” Thong said….

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