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VIETNAM: SERIOUS SUFFERING AS PERSECUTION ESCALATES
plus – urgent prayer request from Iran.
By Elizabeth Kendal
Last week's RLPB 358 (24 May) requested prayer for Protestant Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh (45), his wife Tran Thi Hong and their children in Vietnam's Central Highlands province of Gai Lai. As an active evangelist and courageous religious liberty advocate, Pastor Chinh has long suffered persecution at the hands of Communist Party officials.
|Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh (2011)|
|Mrs Hong after beating source|
14 April 2016
|In Washington, 10 May 2016|
Furthermore, on 5 May Pastor Dang Ba Nham and his wife, along with church elder Hoang Ngoc Hung and new believer Mrs Phan Thi Thanh Huyen, gathered on a roadside in Vinh City, Nghe An Province (north central coast). All belong to the Vietnam Good News Mission Church. As Pastor Nham prayed a blessing over Mrs Huyen's property, a large pickup truck with red military plates veered across the road and drove directly into the small group. Pastor Nham (56), who had faced strong opposition to his evangelistic ministry, died at the scene. New believer Mrs Huyen, whose conversion triggered strong opposition from her relatives, died of her injuries the following day. Pastor Nham's wife and church elder Hoang Ngoc Hung have undergone complex surgeries for critical injuries. According to Morning Star News (MSN), both are fighting for their lives. Local sources also told MSN that during Pastor Nham's funeral, when the speaker asked, 'Who will take his place?' some 30 young people stood in response. This was despite nobody believing this 'accident' was an accident -- Communist Party officials routinely stage 'accidents' by which 'trouble-makers' are eliminated.
PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY THAT GOD WILL
* intervene for imprisoned Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh, his persecuted and wounded wife Mrs Tran Thi Hong and their family; for Christian advocate Nguyen Van Dai (imprisoned without charge), his wife Mrs Vu Minh Khanh and their family. '... let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.' (Amos 5:24 ESV)
* bring comfort to the Vietnam Good News Mission Church in Vinh City, as members grieve the loss of a pastor-evangelist and a new believer; may our merciful God speak healing into the bodies of church elder Hoang Ngoc Hung and Pastor Nham's wife as they struggle to survive horrendous injuries and loss.
'I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.' (Psalm 30:1-2 ESV)
URGENT PRAYER REQUEST FROM IRAN
Maryam (Naseem) Naghash Zargaran is an Iranian convert and prisoner for Christ who suffers from congenital heart disease [see RLPB 366 (18 Nov 2015), includes picture]. Middle East Concern reports that Maryam recently started suffering pain in her ears, accompanied by severe headaches. Refused medical attention, Maryam commenced a hunger strike on 27 May. She is seriously ill. Her fellow prisoners are supporting her by forgoing family visits until Maryam receives proper medical care. The ascendant regime in Tehran has no need of Maryam. She needs divine intervention. PLEASE PRAY.
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* REMINDER: Pray for Muslims during RAMADAN, 6 June to 5 July.
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SUMMARY FOR BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE
SERIOUS SUFFERING AS PERSECUTION ESCALATES IN VIETNAM
Arrested in April 2011, Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh (45), an evangelist and courageous religious liberty advocate, was sentenced in July 2012 to 11 years imprisonment for 'undermining national unity'. His wife, Tran Thi Hong, also a courageous religious liberty advocate, continues suffering violent persecution from Communist Party officials. Arrested in December 2015, Christian religious liberty advocate Nguyen Van Dai remains detained without charge, denied access to his wife and lawyers. His wife, Vu Minh Khanh, is risking much to raise awareness of his plight. On 5 May a pastor and a new member of a church in Vinh City were killed and the pastor's wife and a church elder were critically wounded when a military vehicle 'accidentally' drove into them on a footpath. Please pray for Vietnam and its Christians.
Elizabeth Kendal is the author of Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today (Deror Books, Dec 2012) which offers a Biblical response to persecution and existential threat.
Elizabeth Kendal’s new book, After Saturday ComesSunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East, is presently being published by Wipf and Stock (Eugene, OR, USA) and will be available shortly.