VIETNAM: Church leader beaten in a gang attack 22/11/2011
House church violently attackedOn 13 November, leaders of an unregistered house church were violently attacked, leaving twelve people seriously injured. The gang also threatened to kill the pastor if he continued to organise church meetings. The Agape Baptist Church, just outside Hanoi, is part of an unregistered house church denomination. As neither church nor denomination is registered there is no automatic access to legal protection. Despite improvements in religious freedom over recent years, attacks on churches still occur and are not uncommon. It is thought that local police and security officials sometimes employ gangs to undertake the attacks and perpetrators are rarely prosecuted.
In September, a registered house church belonging to the Vietnam Baptist church was similarly attacked, twice by twenty thugs. Responding to these attacks, CSW’s Advocacy director highlighted that the meeting of the registered church “is protected by Vietnamese legislation” and he called for “concrete protection for those whose religious freedom is violated.”