Vietnam Pastor Arrested and Questioned; Organizations Call for Advocacy

Eight days after being arrested, a leader of a house-church organization in Vietnam was allowed to return to his home but ordered to appear at the Ministry of Public Security for questioning the next morning.

According to Compass Direct, Rev. Tran Mai, leader of the Inter-Evangelistic Movement, was arrested at the border as he returned to Vietnam on August 29. He was allowed a call to his wife, but she was not told where he was or what charges he faced.

While in custody, Mai was questioned about his activities abroad, his involvement in literature distribution during the South East Asian Games in Ho Chi Minh City in December 2003, as well as his connection with Rev. Bui Van Ba and Rev. Nguyen Hong Quang.

Mai is an active participant in the Vietnam Evangelical Fellowship, which had called for three days of prayer and fasting for the Church in Vietnam on September 5-7. It was during that time of prayer that Mai was permitted to return home. There is no indication yet if charges will be laid against him.

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, together with partners including The Voice of the Martyrs, has published an Advocate Pack with information and addresses, calling on Christians to intervene for their brothers and sisters in Vietnam.

“Please pray for Rev. Mai, as well as the many Christians in Vietnam facing persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ,” wrote Glenn Penner, VOM Communications Director.

The next three days of prayer and fasting for the Church in Vietnam are scheduled for October 3-5. VOM urges believers around the world to participate.