Saturday, June 29, 2013

Vietnamese Police Attack Christian Couple for Refusal to Recant Faith

I thank my Lord and Savior for their bravery.

6/28/2013 Vietnam (International Christian Concern) has just learned that police officers attacked a Christian couple in Lào Cai province, Vietnam, on Monday after the couple refused to recant from their newly found Christian faith. Police repeatedly struck both the husband and wife until the wife began bleeding, at which point police halted the beating and released her.

The attack came after police from the Muong Khuong district of Lao Cai Province repeatedly summoned the heads of two recently converted Christian families, whose names are being withheld for their security, to the police station for questioning. The official police summons received by the families were vague, one of which stated only that they were to come in “for questioning.” However during the third interrogation sources in Vietnam report that the police began to “strongly pressure” the Christians to recant their faith, despite the fact that such pressure is illegal under Vietnamese law.
Two of the three police involved in the violent interrogation are reported to be Hàng Vềnh, the deputy chief of police of Ta Thang Commune and Vàng Tre, a ranking officer of Ta Thang Commune. It is unknown if the officers have yet faced any sort of disciplinary action for the incident on Monday.

The two families, who converted to Protestant Christianity in March, are members of the ethnic Hmong community and reside in the mountainous Lào Cai Province of Northern Vietnam. Christians among the Hmong communities both in Northwestern Vietnam and the Central Highlands regularly face pressure to recant their faith and return to more traditional animist belief systems.
The reported attack comes on the heels of an unusually positive development in Kontum Province, Vietnam, where federal authorities this month resettled four minority Christian families after their property was destroyed earlier in this year by local villagers.

The Vietnamese government maintains tight control of religious activities in the country. In its most recent annual report, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) concluded that “the government of Vietnam continues to expand control over all religious activities, severely restrict independent religious practice, and repress individuals and religious groups it views as challenging its authority(Source).”

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