By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - The persecution of religious minorities is now official Vietnamese state policy after Human Rights Watch released a June report revealing that government's intentions to persecute any ethnic Montagnards who follow "unauthorized" Christianity.
According to Barnabas Aid, this latest threat to Montagnards living in the Central Highlands of Vietnam is causing many to flee into neighboring Cambodia where they hope to freely worship Christ. But after reaching Cambodia, many Montagnards are deported back to Vietnam; last year alone, Cambodia returned at least 54 Montagnards without allowing them any opportunity to seek refugee status.
Formerly animists, ethnic Montagnards began converting to Christianity in the 1950s and are now a predominantly Christian group.
In addition to being persecuted for their Christian faith, Montagnards believe they are being targeted by the Vietnamese government because of their past allegiance to the U.S. during its war in Vietnam.