Full Gospel Church Faces Serious Persecution in Vietnam

An increase in threats from local government officials and public security personnel has been experienced by a Full Gospel Church in the Thanh Hoa province of Vietnam, according to Assist News Service.

|TOP|Events have culminated in a raid during a prayer meeting on 18 June, which resulted in the arrest and beatings of several church members, report Jubilee Campaign.

A media advisory obtained from Jubilee Campaign said: “Moreover, we learned that our contact, a lawyer in Hanoi, has attracted the attention of Communist Party officials and the Public Security Police in the capital for his reports on religious liberty abuses, some of which have been posted on BBC online. Concerned observers fear that our contact, 'David,' may be in danger of arrest or worse in the near future.”

Jubilee Campaign's contact in Hanoi told: “Vietnamese Public Security Police in Thanh Hoa Province recently banned all Protestant religious activities and brutally abused members of the Full Gospel Church.

“The Full Gospel congregation at Thieu Vien Hamlet, Town of Thieu Hoa, Thanh Hoa Province has been active since 1999. Up until recently they were allowed to conduct their activities without incident. However, all that changed on April 9, 2006 when the Public Security Police interrupted a home service and took church members to the police station. Church members there were instructed not to celebrate Easter. On April 16, church members therefore had to secretly celebrate Easter at a different location.”

|AD|The Jubilee Campaign statement says that on 23 April, the Public Security Police again came back and detained all church members after interrupting their home prayer service. The incident happened again a week later on 30 April.

Jubilee Campaign also have reported that on 5 May, Pastor Ho Duc Tuan of the Full Gospel Church attended the prayer service with congregation members. The Public Security Police once again broke in and transported everyone attending to their station, where church members and the Pastor were verbally abused and detained.

In addition, on 14 May, two church members met at the house of Ms. Minh, also a church member, to study the Bible. The Cultural Committee of the hamlet would not tolerate this and took Ton, Thang, Minh and her two family members to the police station for questioning. There they were told that Thieu Vien Hamlet prohibited Protestantism.

On 26 May, Ms. Minh filed an application to register religious activities with the People’s Committee, but her application was rejected.

Following this, two days later the Public Security Police again interrupted a prayer service and again brought all the church attendees to the police station. There, they were forced to file a self-report before they were able to be released.

Later on 4 June, the congregation was meeting at Ms. Minh’s when the Public Security Police broke in and took all to the police station.

However, this time on the way, the police brutally assaulted several church members. Ms. Le Thi Duc, Ms. Nguyen Thi Le and Ms. Nguyen Thi Nhan were beaten till they bled, report Assist News Service. They were held at the police station, refused food, and the police took their bicycles and ordered them to stop coming to Ms. Minh’s home for prayer service.

Finally, on 18 June at 8:30 a.m, the Public Security Police broke into Ms. Minh’s home and arrested Nguyen Trung Ton, Hac Ngoc Si, Ms. Nhan, and Mrs. Lan. At 4:30 p.m a Public Security Police officer by the name Nguyen Manh Hoe took all detainees in for interrogation, and seriously beat Ton and Si, causing extremely bad injuries.

Jubilee Campaign reported: “All were forced to sign a statement to the effect that they would not convene at Ms. Minh’s to study the Bible any more. They were released at 6pm.”