November 17, 2011
Leaders from an unregistered house church in Hanoi, Vietnam, were attacked and beaten by a gang of men during a Nov. 13 meeting, Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports. Twelve were seriously injured -- five men, four women and three teenagers -- and the gang threatened to kill pastor Danh Chau if he continued to organize church meetings. The gang also damaged property belonging to the church members, stole parts from their motorbikes, and destroyed Pastor Chau's family fruit trees and garden. In the middle of the attack, gang members ran outside and shouted, "The Christian pastors are savagely beating people up!" in an attempt to defame the Christians. The church is part of an unregistered house church denomination that was founded in 2007 and has around 2,200 members in 35 congregations around Hanoi. Gangs are not uncommon in Vietnam and are seldom prosecuted; local police and security officials are often thought to be behind the attacks.