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Vietnamese convert whose home was destroyed by neighbours builds new house with church support

28 May 2021

OPEN DOORS UK

Chien’s wife and three children stand in the remains of their home after the arson attack

Chien’s wife and three children stand in the remains of their home after the arson attack

A CHRISTIAN convert in Vietnam whose home was razed to the ground by his neighbours has built a new house with support from a church and UK donors.

Chien (not his real name), with his wife and three children, converted to Christianity in 2018: they were the first family in their predominantly animist village to do so. After his conversion, the village chief threatened to expel the family, and his daughter was bullied at school.

Henrietta Blyth, from the charity Open Doors UK and Ireland, said: “Where Chien’s family lives — an animist village in north-west Vietnam — people who convert to another religion, especially Christianity, are considered outcasts, and persecuted severely.” Vietnam is 19th on the World Wide Watch List of countries where Christians are most at risk of persecution.

When Chien and his family returned from leading a Bible-study group in another village, they found that their home had been set alight. All its contents were destroyed in the fire, as well as their rice harvest. He reports hearing a neighbour shouting: “Let’s see if you can still live here.”

The family moved in with relatives, until another church in Vietnam donated a plot of land, and donors from the UK raised money to help build a house. Chien hopes to start a new church in his new home, Ms Blyth said: “Chien’s spirit has not been crushed.”

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