Persecution of Christians continues in Vietnam, where the government has become a little more selective in its victimizing.
Prisons are horrible in Vietnam. There is little or no medical help, conditions are filthy, and some prisoners are subjected to beatings.
Ryan Morgan of International Christian Concern reports more than 60 church leaders are still behind bars in Vietnam.
“Some of them have been there for months, some for years, and most of them still have many years left on their sentences,” Morgan tells OneNewsNow. “We wanted to highlight this specifically just to keep people aware that Christians, and especially pastors, are still facing a great deal of persecution in the country."
Vietnam is one of five remaining Communist countries, which tend to tolerate religion so long as it is state controlled – a hands-off approach if they follow state-approved guidelines. Yet most of the growth in the last decade is among underground churches, which makes them continuing targets of the government.
Morgan further explains that lot of the persecuted pastors are from the Central Highlands in Vietnam, where there are ethnic minorities and therefore discrimination.
“There's also the issue that many of the ethnic minorities in these regions actually were U.S. allies during the Vietnam War,” says Morgan. “So there's still an aura of suspicion.”
Their plight has been largely ignored by the United States which has promoted a business relationship with Vietnam.
Morgan asks Christians in this country to remember their brothers and sisters in Vietnam.