Persecution continues among this ethnic tribe that has seen revival amongst them
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
DIEN BIEN DONG, NORTH VIETNAM (ANS) -- Police used noxious gas to break up a Christian worship gathering attended by 40 Hmong people in the Dien Bien Dong district of North Vietnam.
According to an ASSIST News Service source, the police attack took place on Sunday, December 29, 2002.
"Police discovered the meeting, so they came to stop the meeting by spraying noxious gas to these Christians," said our source. "Now 20 Christians are in hospital, 5 of them seem to be not able to recover as they are in serious convulsion.
"The Dien Bien hospital where these Christians were hospitalized is under the blockade of Dien Bien Police."
The contact said that the Hmong people came to Christ following Christian broadcasts by FEBC to them. "Since they believed Jesus, they were under constant intimidation and oppression from the Government," he said. "Many of them had to move to the Central Vietnam (Darlak) or to the border of Vietnam-Cambodia to shelter.
"This is just one of the many persecutions they have been suffering since they accepted Jesus as their Lord Savior. Please pray for these Christians."
FEBC REPORTS PERSECUTION OF HMONG LIISTENERS
Meanwhile, Hmong listeners to Far East Broadcasting gospel radio programs are contacting FEBC and are reporting in explicit terms about the severe persecution they are experiencing.
One Hmong listener in Vietnam sent a cassette with this message:
"In order for you to understand what we are facing now I decided to put everything on tape.
At this time, we don't know why our government has sent soldiers and policemen to guard all of the Christian villages. It seems as if we are criminals or are preparing to do something against the government! They watch every one of us very closely. We cannot hold Church meetings any more. These officials have also come to check every Christian home and check for Bibles, hymnbooks and other literature. If they find anything, it will be burnt.
"If homes are not found with evil spirit signs, that household will be penalized. The government activities include:
Christian households paying a fine up to 200,000 dong (Ed. Note: 200,000 dong equals $10.00 American. Regular wages will earn about 30,000 to 50,000 dong a month).
Christian families are put in jail with no questions asked.
Government officials putting poison into sugar and distributing the food to Christian who eat and died.
Christianity must wipe out by the end of December 2002.
"Because of these difficult times, many of our Church leaders have sold their homes, their land, livestock and have moved to the South. This alternative is very hard because it takes four days to relocate to the south and the journey is hard terrain. The biggest heartache is leaving our homes behind.
"Your daily broadcast is the only source that we can depend on. Please keep on sending God's word to us. Thanks."
The persecution is serious and the danger imminent. In fact, if something is not done, Hmong Christians will continue to face persecution that intensifies and increases as the deadline for wiping out Christianity is less than six months away.
“WE CANNOT SIT AND WATCH OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST SUFFER…”
"We cannot sit and watch our brothers and sisters in Christ suffer in such perilous circumstances," stated Jim Bowman, FEBC president. "We live in a country that exists as the world's greatest advocacy for human rights, and as Christians we must3/4 with brotherly love and courage3/4 raise our voices on behalf of the Hmong people. Please, not only join us in praying for the Hmong people, but contact your local government representatives and request for investigations to be made in to these unconscionable acts of brutality."
A recent report from International Christian Concern (ICC) issued in April 2002, includes documents that reveal the deliberate anti-Christian campaign against tribal groups in Vietnam. ICC shares the same concern for the persecuted Hmong believers.
"For the most part, most westerners know very little about the persecutions and sufferings our brothers and sisters are having to endure," stated Steve Snyder, president of ICC. "In our partnership with the Christians in Vietnam and throughout Asia, we frequently hear from believers just how important the radio broadcasts from FEBC are to them for receiving teaching, encouragement and news about their fellow persecuted believers. Our persecuted brothers and sisters need to also know that we Christians in the West are standing with them, praying for them, and speaking out on their behalf. I challenge all Christians to allow your heart to be open to how much these believers need and welcome our prayers of faith, and to be willing to demonstrate our faith with action."
FEBC has been broadcasting to the Hmong people since the mid 1970s. In 1992, an Hanoi newspaper reported that "whole villages" were becoming Christian and that "Christian broadcasts from Manila [FEBC]" were to blame for these conversions. In 1994, the first letter from a Hmong listener arrived. The letter reported that a census had been taken and that an astounding 330,000 people confessed to being believers of Christ. FEBC's Hmong broadcaster immediately sent an announcement over the air to ask for confirmation; the reply came several weeks later to confirm those numbers were authentic.