11 Christians Vanish After Imprisonment in Vietnam

A group of 11 Vietnamese Christians who were jailed have been reported missing. The group consisted of six protestants and five Catholics, who were sentenced at different times, as far back as 2011 and recently in 2016, for a total of 90 years and eight months for offences relating to religious activities, and now their whereabouts are a mystery. The protestants hail from the Degar people, an Indigenous group living in Vietnam’s central highlands; three were accused of “undermining national unity policy“ due to interacting with Degar Protestantism, a religious movement banned by Vietnam’s communist regime. Two of the groups were imprisoned after refusing to deny their faith.

In an interview, the advocacy group campaign to stop torture said that “government officials routinely force Montagnard Christians to publicly recant their religion and those who continue to worship in an independent house or church face beatings, arrest and imprisonment.


Further, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) also gave instances of how the home of a protestant believer, Sung A Khua, was destroyed and he was later arrested on charges of deforestation. This forced action on Protestants and believers was due to the 2018 law the Vietnamese government introduced, “the law on belief and religion. This law regulated religious practices within the nation. This law permits some Christian groups to operate but under the close monitoring of the Vietnamese authorities.

The USCIRF’s assessment added that pastors who submitted applications have been left pending with no formal decisions for months or years. There have also been reported cases of torture against four imprisoned Christians.

Authorities are still searching for ways to handle these religious records, as the whereabouts of the eleven people are still unknown.

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Content Credit| Igbakuma Rita Doom

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