Saturday, July 13
Protestant Christians arrived in Vietnam in 1911, established churches, and initially experienced slow growth. By the time of the Fall of Saigon in April 1975, there were only an estimated 160,000 evangelical Christians in the nation. The victory of the Communist North over the South produced a dark decade (1975–1985) of terrible persecution against Christians, and much of this persecution continued at least for another two decades. During this time, however, the Protestant community thrived, experiencing revivals in the midst of adversity. Today it is estimated that there are 1.4 million Protestant Christians in Vietnam, a 900 percent increase since 1975. One of the most famous converts in this period is Phan Thi Kim Phuc, the little girl famously photographed running naked and screaming from a napalm fireball on June 8, 1972. She converted in 1982, defected to Canada in 1992, and spoke at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC, in 1996, where she forgave a U.S. officer who approached her to confess that he had been involved in the bombing that had burned and scarred her body. She often says: “It was the fire of the bombs that burned my body. It was the skill of the doctors that mended my skin. But it took the power of God’s love to heal my heart!”
The PC(USA) is currently in partnership with the United Presbyterian Church of Vietnam, which has emerged from the flourishing house-church movement. It now has 124 places of worship and a membership of about 7,000.
—Rev. Dr. Michael Parker, former Evangelism Network catalyst, World Mission
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray
God of mercy and love, may our people in Vietnam continue to grow in faith and numbers, and may your abundant provision be visible to all, to thy praise and glory. Amen.