Vietnam releases a Rights Defender

By April 4, 2011

Vietnam (VCM/MNN) — A
Vietnamese human rights lawyer and religious freedom advocate, Nguyen Van Dai, was
recently released from behind bars after serving his sentence, according to Voice of the Martyrs Canada.

Van Dai and Le Thi
Chong Nhan were convicted of "propagandizing against the Socialist
Republic of Vietnam" in May 2007.  The charges related to their defense of religious freedom for the "Mennonite
Six" in 2004-2005. The pair also faced accusations that
they cooperated with terrorists in their efforts to promote human rights.

Dai received a
sentence of five years in prison and four years of house arrest. Nhan was sentenced to four years in prison and
three years of house arrest.

Ask God to fill Dai with enduring
hope and faith. He still has to serve out four years of house arrest. The
families of prisoners like Van Dai and Nhan often face many difficulties, including
financial hardship and sickness. In addition, wives are left without husbands
and children without fathers. There is
often no income, and the families must fend for themselves.

VOM workers who visit the
families of prisoners have a difficult and dangerous job bringing encouragement
to the families. They travel to many villages to meet the families and help
arrange visits to the prisons, which are often far away.

More recently, the crackdowns have been on
the rise. Vietnam now ranks 18th on the
Open Doors World Watch List of countries known for the persecution Christians. Even so, the church in Vietnam is
growing and becoming stronger. Christians now make up almost 10 percent of the

Pray that the Church in Vietnam
will continue to grow and be a light to others. Pray for comfort for the many
other Vietnamese Christians in prison.


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