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A woman in Vietnam riding in a boat
Photo: Flickr / M M (cc)

Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh, a 45-year-old missionary pastor in Gia Lai province (of Vietnam's Central Highlands region), was arrested in April 2011 because of his Christian witness. In July 2012, he was sentenced to eleven years in prison for "undermining national unity."

On May 25th, a delegation from the U.S. Consulate visited Pastor Nguyen in prison. Despite having been warned in advance not to say anything negative against the state of Vietnam, Pastor Nguyen spoke honestly to the U.S. delegation about the tortures, threats and mistreatment he has endured in prison. The treatment included regular beatings, having shards of glass mixed in with his food, being held in stocks, and having to endure long periods in solitary confinement. Now he is being punished for disclosing this information and his wife, Tran Thi Hong, fears for his health and safety.

During Tran's visit in May of this year, she reported that Nguyen's health had deteriorated to a potentially life-threatening degree due to ongoing physical and psychological abuse in prison. She explains that although Nguyen has suffered from acute sinusitis, joint inflammation, gastritis, and high blood pressure, he was denied medical treatment. Additionally, Tran was not allowed to bring him any medicine.

Not only has Pastor Nguyen been suffering for his faith in prison, Tran also experiences persecution because of her religious liberty advocacy. (A previous VOM Canada report includes information on the mistreatment Tran and her son have endured at the hands of opposing authorities.)

Pray that Pastor Nguyen will receive protection and healing while awaiting release from imprisonment. In the meantime, may God use him mightily to bring words of encouragement and eternal life to many in prison. Intercede on behalf of his wife Tran and their son who are also in need of protection and provision. Ask the Lord to minister in wonderful ways to this persecuted family and their congregation, giving His people the strength and renewed hope to carry on. In addition, pray that the hearts and minds of those in authority will be softened as they witness the Godly conduct of the believers being interrogated so that the laws of the land will be administered with true justice and compassion.