OVERVIEW: Vietnam has a repressive Communist government, which actively persecutes Christians. While Christianity is legal, the government still sees it as a threat. Minority tribal groups, such as the Hmong, typically face the most violent and harsh forms of persecution. Churches continue to grow despite persecution.
MAJOR RELIGIONS: Most Vietnamese practice ancestor worship, which is often blended with Buddhism.
PERSECUTOR: Local authorities persecute Christians in rural areas, and Christian converts are also persecuted by family members.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN IN VIETNAM: New Christians are often evicted from their homes and villages, especially in tribal areas where local authorities exercise broad discretion. Officially recognized churches are expected to report their activities and teachings to the government. All churches face government opposition when they evangelize outside church walls or attempt to conduct community events. Non-recognized churches, which cannot be officially registered, are in violation of the law. Within rural and tribal areas, existing believers can often meet openly, but new believers are targeted for harsh persecution. Christians are often denied social services, utilities and schooling in an attempt to pressure them to reject Christianity.