December 3, 2014
My name is Hua Van Tuong. I am a gospel preacher, pastoring for Immanuel Church in Danang city, Vietnam.
I would like to present to you one issue as follows:
Our church with more than 41 members had gathered to worship the Lord at above address from 2009 to the present. And now, we also have service for the Deaf church with more than 40 members.
Pursuant to Directive Instruction #01 of the Vietnam Prime Minister dated 04/02/2005 and the Guidelines of the Central Board of Religious Affairs, our church has applied [multiple times] for registration in order to be recognized as a Christians meeting point. We have applied many times as follows:
- The second time on Feb. 15, 2012.
- The third time on May 21, 2012.
- Fourth on the Aug. 31, 2012.
- Fifth on Nov. 13, 2014.
After five times of applying for our church to be recognized, the local Authorities rejected [our application] and have not licensed our church.
For many years, our church and my family have living in panic and fear of being beaten by local authorities. My house was demolished; dirty things such as dung and animal blood were thrown on our house. I myself was beaten, and some of the children of God also threatened mentally and physically. I have repeatedly sent petitions asking for help to all levels of governments from local to central but my applications are still unresolved and officials are silent.
On Oct. 10, 2014, the chairman of the Thanh Khe Tay Ward asked me to give a list of Christians in our church in order to give a license for our church to be recognized as a meeting point. He also asked me to make a commitment to ensure public order.
I did as requested by the chairman. But then, he sent the list of believers to authorities (police). So our brothers and sisters were threatened, and persuaded to have commitment not to worship God at our church any more.
On Nov. 28 2014, the Committee of Religious Affair in Danang city invited me and the pastors of the Vietnam Christian Mission Executive Board to their office to talk. Our pastor leader asked the Committee of Danang Religious Affairs to recognize Immanuel Church as the instructing of #01 directive document of the Prime Minister, but Mr. Ngo Khoi – the Head of City’s Religious Affair Committee – disagreed and had a threatening attitude toward us saying that they will take actions to close the church.
After the meeting with Danang’s Religious Affair Committee, on Sunday, Nov. 30 2014, a lot of police, militia and civil defense forces from city level to district and ward level departments came and made a raid to forbid our meeting. They seized and confiscated 19 motor bikes of the Deaf Church members. They requested that we have no more worship God in this address here.
I realize this is a sign of religious persecution to my family and Christian brothers and sisters. The Religious Affair Committee of Danang city and the local government have cornered us in a place with no way out.
So we wrote this letter. Again, we are earnestly calling for help from you to intervene in order to ensure the freedom of religious belief, spirit of people unity and human dignity are protected.
Hua Van Tuong
Editor's Note: This letter was also posted at www.Persecution.com. Please pray for Brother Hua and for other Christians in Vietnam. Watch the newsroom at Persecution.com for updates on this story.