Vietnam's "hidden" war on Christianity just rumbles along, and on March 13, the communist authorities demolished one of the first Christian churches built in Vietnam's Central Highlands. While religious persecution is nothing new to Vietnam, the significance of this demolition is particularly symbolic because the church was more than a historical landmark. The large stone Church at Buon Ma Thuot for the last 34 years had been deliberately closed by Vietnam's security police, and yet, all those years, the church remained a powerful symbol to the local indigenous Christians.
Unfortunately, the church was also an unwelcome reminder for the communists who had murdered a number of Christian missionaries near the grounds in 1968, and a reminder of the very movement the government is trying to eliminate. This movement, so hated by Hanoi, is nothing other than "independent" Christian house churches.
Thus, in the dead of night, with security forces keeping watch, heavy machinery came and brought the historic church toppling down. Word of this spread, and in mourning the loss on May 1, some 90,000 Degar Montagnards from 375 villages stopped everything and prayed for three days and nights. Security forces responded by making dozens of arrests of these tribal Christians, threatening them to cease their religious activities.
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