Vietnamese believers restricted from gathering

Church groups aren't very common in tribal Vietnam. After their conversion, Dep* and her 10 daughters wanted to create such a group, a small number of believers to worship with. Together, they studied the Word of God and prayed at Dep’s house.

On January 30, 2021, Dep’s neighbor reported them to the local authorities while they were having a Bible study. Police officers arrived, stopped their gathering, and confiscated all their devotional materials - except for the Bibles, which the police did not recognize.

The authorities banned them from meeting again. They informed the Christians of what they already knew - religion isn't allowed in a Communist village.

Communist villages are usually former settlements of Vietnamese militaries from the Vietnam-America War, found in the central and highland regions of the country. Although the military has already left these areas, the Communist ideology stuck. Those who reoccupied the land still strictly abide and apply the Communist rule. Residents in a Communist village believe in no religion; Christian converts normally suffer from the hands of the village chief and the villagers when they are found out to have new faith.

With their fellowship disintegrated, Dep and her daughters are conflicted by their situation. “They are clueless on what to do next," said one Open Doors partner. "They were told by the local authorities to report all their activities and those who visit them. Their neighbors continue to spy on them and take advantage of their situation. Other neighbors let their cows graze on their crops and steal their livestock.”

It is a difficult situation for believers who already feel isolated. Will you pray for them today?

Pray

· Pray for God’s direction and protection for Dep, her daughters, and the other believers.

· They are now attending an online service hosted by a church in the city. Pray that even through this virtual gathering their faith will be nurtured.

· Pray for the pastor who is helping them connect with a registered church in the neighboring city and trying to help them register their small church with the government.

· Dep and her family have plans of looking for a job in the city. In doing so, they will be a little more free to worship and study God’s Word.

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