Each Friday I pray and fast for nations where Christians suffer the worst persecution around the world. This week I am praying and fasting for:
Vietnam. 93.3 million people with 9.9 million Christians.
Vietnam is one of the few remaining countries in the world following a communist ideology. Consequently, authorities still perceive Christianity as a foreign influence and Christians as Western agents. The regime is based on Marxist-Leninist doctrine and Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts. The publication and distribution of Christian materials is difficult and highly restricted. Work among children and youth is not officially restricted, but monitored and youth camps and trainings can be disturbed. The level of violence increased in 2014. Several church buildings as well as houses of Christians were destroyed and more than 10 Christians were sentenced to jail. (World Watch List)
Vietnam uses a specialized religious police force to stop the growth of religious groups, such as Christians, through discrimination and violence. Official government documents give local authorities in the northwest the mandate to compel Christians to recant their faith…The government restricts religious freedom through legislation, registration requirements, and by harassing and intimidating unsanctioned religious groups. In some urban areas, religious activity is permitted within government-approved parameters. But in rural areas, local authorities view Christianity as a foreign threat and often use discrimination, intimidation, property destruction, detentions, beatings and forced renunciations of faith to halt church growth. Many of Vietnam’s more than 50 ethnic minority groups face persecution because of both their ethnicity and Christian faith. Several ethnic Christians have died while being tortured. Christians at a prayer vigil for the release of two Christian leaders were shot when police fired into the crowd, and many were injured. Persecution is more severe in the north than in the south. VOM workers report that local officials increasingly target new believers for extreme harassment, and leave established Christians alone. (Voice of Martyrs)
Today, I prayed:
Lord, I pray for Your Spirit to move in Vietnam to open the eyes of the people, so they turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. And so they receive forgiveness for their sins and are given a place among God’s people. (Based on Acts 26:18)
Join with me on Fridays to fast and pray for prisoners, according to Hebrews 13:3.