This year during Secret Church, we are highlighting the Peoples of Vietnam. As we talk about Christians living with communism in Vietnam, many of us need a little background. Here is a brief overview for you so as to understand the People of Vietnam.
What is communism?
Communism is a political theory that calls for communal ownership of all property and a classless social structure. Some variations of communism state that a true communist society can exist only after the complete overthrow of capitalism.
In many countries where communists have won power and still maintain it today, the governments often hold authoritarian control over politics, the economy, and society.
Where are communist countries?
Today there are five communist countries in the world: China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam.
What about Vietnam?
Vietnam is officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, similar to China. The nation is a single-party framework and a one-party system led by the Communist Party of Vietnam.
It became unified under communist rule in 1975 after three decades of war. Communists under Ho Chi Minh fought and conquered French colonialists and then defeated the anti-communist south and its allies.
Vietnam is led by a president who is the chief of state and a prime minister who is the head of the government.
The communist party of Vietnam holds a central role in politics and society. However, in recent years communist orthodoxy has become less important due to the need for economic development.
What does this mean for Christians?
Vietnamese authorities have traditionally viewed Christianity as an outside threat to its communist way of life.
Today the communist government officially recognizes six religions, including Evangelical Christianity, but Christians all over the country still face persecution.
Christians are often heavily watched and have been subject to interrogations, property seizures, and beatings. Communities are warned not to associate with Christians or believe their lies about the One True God.
How can you pray?
When we asked Christian leaders living with communism in Vietnam how we could pray for them, one thing they mentioned was to pray for the government. Many of the church leaders want to work with the government and show government leaders that Christianity is beneficial to Vietnam and its people.
Pray for the leaders of Vietnam and government authorities to hear the gospel so they may put their faith in Jesus Christ alone. Pray for Christians to find favor with government officials so they may see how Christianity is good for Vietnam.
For more about Vietnam, our Secret Church 15 prayer focus, go to PrayForVietnam.org.