Story number 1 for 4 Aug 2003

By August 4, 2003

(Vietnam)–We begin today with a look at the Vietnam Human Rights Act. Currently in Congress, it prohibits any increase in non-humanitarian assistance until Hanoi make progress regarding its treatment of political and religious prisoners. However, International Needs Network’s Rody Rodeheaver says although Vietnam’s official stance includes freedom of religion, “As you get outside of the metropolitan areas and into the rural areas, it just does not exist. There’s a tremendous amount of persecution. In fact, we’re concerned because there’s a sense that that persecution is growing. We’ve received reports from our people there that pastors just disappear.” Rodeheaver says their work continues, in spite of the reports of heavy oppression. “We have been working through the support of village evangelists and church planters in that country. We have over 40 village evangelists in the country.”

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