Not too long ago I was sitting in church and thinking about the persecuted church. As I thought about Christian persecution I began to wonder what was truly worse - persecution or apathy? I have read stories of persecuted believers who are praying for American Christians because they see how much we have here and realize that it must be hard to walk out our faith in such a land where we literally have everything. On the other hand, as a Western Christian it is very easy to see how a brother in a foreign land who is being threatened with death, imprisonment or physical harm may be worse. The thing we have in common is the need for prayer. With that in mind, would you join me in praying for the following things this week? This is from The Voice of the Martyrs Canada office.
Brutal Attack on Mennonite Headquarters in Vietnam
The Voice of the Martyrs sources in Vietnam report that on May 22, 2006 at 2:30 pm, a raid was conducted on the Mennonite house church situated at C5 H1 Tran Nao St, Binh Khanh ward, District 2, in Ho Chi Minh City. As many as fifty security officers, police and hired thugs forced their way into the building, kicked down doors and began to severely beat the pastors, the Christian construction workers and other believers present. They were punched and beaten mercilessly by electric prods and cudgels. Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang received shocks from an electric prod and was beaten by a cudgel. Another church worker, Nguyen Hieu Nghia, was kicked in the chest and struck by a cudgel. Brother Tran Minh Hoa was hit and forcibly pulled down from the roof. The attackers destroyed repairs being done to the house, which also serves as the home of Pastor Quang. All the materials used on the building were confiscated by the authorities and brought to the Binh Khanh ward.
A number of church members were arrested, including former Mennonite
prisoners Nguyen Hong Quang, Pham Ngoc Thach, Nguyen Huu Nghia and Le Thi Hong Lien. Some were handcuffed and others were dragged to the Binh Khanh ward office where, once they were out of public view, they were beaten further. Some of them were released after a few hours of interrogation. Others were released at midnight. The last to be released was Pastor Quang,who was freed on Tuesday evening (May 23), about 28 hours after his arrest.
Pray that the building project will be allowed to continue. Pray that those who sustained injuries will recover quickly and be able to continue the work God has given them. Pray that they will be able to find joy in the fact that they are able to participate in the sufferings of Christ and find hope in the fact that He will be glorified through them (1 Peter 4:12-13).
For more information on the ongoing persecution of Vietnam's Christians, go
/country/vietnam.htm. Pictures taken during
the attack can be viewed at http://www.persecution.net