USCIRF is to be commended for calling attention to and condemning these raids. The raids on these churches have ominous implications for all the Christians of Vietnam, and is yet another example of how the persecution of Christians is often abetted by or even initiated by government authorities.

Vietnam is under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, which is subject to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Russian Orthodox Church also has one parish in the Vietnamese port city of Vung Tau. Otherwise, most Christians in Vietnam are Roman Catholic, like Le Dinh Luong, or Protestant.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Vietnam at ChristianPersecution.com, see here.

“US Officials Condemn Vietnamese Raid on Christian Churches,” International Christian Concern, August 5, 2021:

08/05/2021 Vietnam (International Christian Concern) – International human rights activists and government officials in the U.S. have condemned a coordinated raid conducted by Vietnamese officials on two Vietnamese churches in the Dal Lak Province of Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Nearly two dozen ethnic minority Christians were detained in the raids, most or all belonging to the persecuted Montagnard ethnic group.

The Montagnards are indigenous groups native to a mountainous region near the border with Cambodia. About seventy percent of Montagnards are Christian, ten times the national average. The government treats them badly, often repressing their ability to practice their religion freely as in this case….

Human rights groups were swift to condemn the attack, which US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Chairwoman Nadine Maenza called an “egregious abuse.” Fellow USCIRF commissioner James Carr also weighed in, calling on the central government and local authorities to cease their abuse of Montagnard Christians.

Ned Price, spokesman for U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, also condemned the raid “Very troubling that Vietnamese authorities…conducted coordinated raids on house churches,” he said. “We urge Vietnam to cease this harassment and intimidation and allow everyone to practice their faith.”

USCIRF and the Department of State called attention to the persecution of Montagnard Christians in separate reports earlier this year with USCIRF recommending that State designate Vietnam as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for egregious abuses of human rights and religious freedom. State concurred with this recommendation, designating them a CPC in a May announcement.