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News / Thoughts

Vietnam: “The government is not responsible for your families!”

June 8, 2020

You may know that the Covid-19 pandemic is causing all kinds of problems around the world – and it’s impacting the poorest the most. When countries go into lockdown, it’s often the poorest that are impacted most. With little spare money, and no ability to earn an income through work, poor communities are reliant on government help. And in many places, Christians come from the poorest communities.

This makes it easy for Christians to face discrimination. In Vietnam some Christians are being denied official food and aid when it’s distributed. A number of families from a district of northern Vietnam reported being turned down point blank when they asked for food. In total 107 individuals, from 18 families, were refused aid by local authorities because of their faith. They were told: “You are Christians and your God will take care of your family! The government is not responsible for your families!”

Illustrative image of Vietnam

“These families are poor,” says Chau*, one of Open Doors partners in Vietnam, who are providing essential food and aid to those being overlooked. “When they learned that the government’s support is coming to their district, they were so happy but only to find out that they were not on the list because they are Christians.”

These 18 families had lost their income, due to restrictions relating to the pandemic, and had very little to survive. Though the local authorities meant their cry as a taunt, God really did take care of them – using your gifts and support.

Although Vietnam has already lifted its nationwide lockdown on April 23, and some Vietnamese people have already began to go back to their normal lives, the government and several charitable organisations are still providing countrywide support – especially to those on low incomes or who have lost their jobs during the lockdown.

The latest report, appears to be the tip of a much larger iceberg of aid discrimination, not only in Vietnam but around the world, where Christians are a minority. We’re hearing similar stories from many countries across Asia and Africa, where Christians are either denied aid or given less than people of other faiths.

Thanks to your support, Open Doors partners are working with many families to provide vital food and aid, often facing risk of persecution themselves.

What you can do…

Finally, you can pray now…

    • For Vietnamese Christians to receive a fair distribution of food and aid
    • For wisdom and protection for Open Doors partners reaching those in need
    • That Christians in Vietnam would be equipped to be the light of Christ.

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.