Mennonite Church in Vietnam

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The Mennonite Church in Vietnam is a Protestant denomination of Christianity in Vietnam.[1] It has about 10,000 members. Substantial part of the Mennonite house church members are montagnards living in Central and Southern Highlands of Vietnam.

The Mennonite Central Committee, which is the social service branch of the Mennonite Church, was one of the few Western charitable organizations to continue work in Vietnam after the Northern regime communist victory in 1975 and the subsequent reunification of the country.[2]

The Church general secretary, vice president (and also a chairman of the Legal Committee of the Vietnam Evangelical Fellowship) Nguyen Hong Quang [3] and his wife were several times arrested by the Vietnamese government. By some sources, it already took place on August 1, 2001 in Ho Chi Minh City.[4] Last time Quang was arrested in 2004 for alleged practicing a non-sanctioned religion under Vietnam's 2004 Ordinance on Religion and Belief. He was sentenced to three years in jail, but released in 2005, after an international campaign to secure his release. Before his arrest pastor Nguyen Hong Quang sent a message to a friend alluding to his concerns, "The Church is now on stormy seas but the boat still goes out. The Lord enables us to row together. Be at peace. I ask you and the Church to pray for us."

Another five members of the church, called, along with Quang, the "Mennonite Six," were arrested under the same laws. The house church is not recognized as an official Protestant state church, and has therefore been a target of persecution by Vietnamese authorities.

"Mennonite Six" are:

  • Pastor & Human Rights Activist: Rev. Nguyen Hong Quang (male)
  • Evangelist Pham Ngoc Thach (male)
  • Nguyen Thanh Phuong (male)
  • Nguyen Thanh Nhan (male)
  • Church elder Nguyen Huu Nghia (male)
  • Children's worker: Le Thi Hong Lien (female)

In July 2005, Vietnamese government officials destroyed the home of the pastor Nguyen Hong Quang, while he was in detention, including the room where his congregation held worship services.

Mennonite movement (together with Baptist one) was officially recognized by Hanoi in October, 2007, which was estimated as some improvement of religious freedom in the country.[5] Pastor Nguyen Quang Trung, provisional president of the Vietnam Mennonite Church, taking part in the official ceremony of the above authorisation, quoted his Church’s motto: "Living the Gospel, worshipping God, and serving the nation."[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ World Christian Encyclopedia 2nd edition (Oxford University Press, 2001), first volume, p. 806
  2. ^ "Vietnam: Attack on Mennonites Highlights Religious Persecution". Human rights watch. 
  3. ^ "Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang and Fellow Vietnamese Christians Appeal for Help". Free Vietnam Alliance. 
  4. ^ "Activist Christian Pastor Arrested In Vietnam: Public Security Police have busted up Mennonite services four times this year.". Christianity Today Library. 
  5. ^ a b "Hanoi officially recognises Baptists and Mennonites", Asia News, October 2007.

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