Pastor and Bible college students attacked as 100s take part in violent raid in Vietnam
Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang and his Bible college students were attacked last week in My Phuoc, Binh Duong province when several hundred people raided their compound.
According to reports, police, area officials, and laymen forced their way into the building earlier this month and beat the occupants for as long as two hours. The injured were also allegedly kept from seeking medical treatment.
Release International has explained that Pastor Quang suffered head and chest injuries, as well as a number of broken teeth. In total, about 20 people were hurt in the vicious attack.
At the time of the incident, Pastor Quang was hosting a pastors' retreat and a Christian summer school at his Bible college. During the gathering, the assailants descended on the school, throwing rocks at the building, and ripping off the college's gate and doors. The inside of the school was also pillaged, although the extent of the damage is not clear from initial reports.
Quang and his college were also attacked in December 2010 in a raid that received international attention. The Mennonite pastor was beaten unconscious and the school was bulldozed by Ho Chi Minh City officials.
In a 2004 incident, Quang protested the arrest of Christians who were jailed for ministering in Vietnam's largest city, and was arrested himself months later. While he served nearly a year in prison, law enforcement authorities allegedly broke into his home, robbed him, and partially destroyed the house.
While freedom of religion is provided for in the Vietnamese constitution, only officially-recognized bodies of worship are permitted by the government.
Release International, which serves persecuted Christians across the globe, has asked for prayers for the Vietnamese Christians.
"Pray that God will restore to full health all those injured in the attack," they wrote on their website. "Thank God for the overcoming faith of Pastor Quang; pray that his example will inspire others to follow Christ and to persevere in their faith."
The present condition of Pastor Quang and his followers is unknown at the time of press.