Church growing in the face of persecution

By May 20, 2008

Vietnam
(MNN) — 35 years after the end of the Vietnam War, Vietnam is still a Communist
country and ranks number 6 on Mission Researchers’ list of countries with the
most persecution of Christians. I.N.
Network
supports 25 Vietnamese church planters who often face
interrogation, arrest, and possible torture.

Vietnam’s
constitutional provisions protecting religious freedom are meaningless. In reality, only government-approved churches
have religious freedom, and other churches are illegal.  Essentially, Vietnam’s government controls all
the religious activity.
More than half of all Vietnamese Protestants attend illegal,
unregistered house churches.  

Christian converts often face disinheritance and the loss of
their families when they refuse to worship their ancestors. Church planters travel miles by foot every
day and receive only the equivalent of $75 per month at best. However, I.N. Network
reports that their dedication is bearing fruit, and thousands of Vietnamese are
trusting in Jesus Christ. 

I.N. Network also supports 75
evangelistic teams sent out by local Vietnamese churches. One team visited
seven leprosy camps, where 57 people became Christians. Christians also bring food and medicine to
patients in hospitals and make follow-up visits with the patients when they
are released from the hospitals.  

I.N. Network supports indigenous,
“home-grown” ministries, managed and staffed by the country’s nationals. This works well in Vietnam, where the government
prohibits its citizens from having contact with overseas Christians. I.N. Network allows
Christians in free countries to sponsor Vietnamese church planters. 

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