By Joseph C. DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
HANOI, Vietnam (Worthy News)-- Back in August, the Vietnamese government initiated a massive military operation involving thousands of soldiers, security forces and local police in what they called "tieu quet" to "wipe out" Degar Christians who refused to join the Evangelical Church of Vietnam.
During the ongoing operation, Vietnamese forces arrested about 24 Degar Christians, nine of whom still remain in prison.
According to the Montagnard Foundation, Inc., by creating and forcing the Degars to join the ECV, the Vietnamese government has attempted to create a new religion and church for the Degars, but not the religion and church they want or need; what the Degars require is the right to worship their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in a church of their own making, not a church constructed by and for the government.
Degars suspect that the ECV is the state's way of infiltrating Degar society from within while Vietnamese security police continue to spy on Degar villagers from without.
Kok Ksor, president of the Montagnard Foundation, Inc., "the true voice of the Degar people," states that the MFI has no desire to overthrow the Vietnamese government, or to separate Degar lands from Vietnam.
"The Degar people intend to honor the agreements our ancestors made with the French Federal Government of Indochina and the last Vietnamese Emperor, Bao Dai, in the 1950. With that said, we want to remind the Vietnamese government and people of the promises that their ancestors made with our people. Both of our former leaders desired for us to live together in peace and freedom and prosper as one people and one nation."