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PRESS RELEASE
Vietnam Church Requests Prayer Support
Mennonite World Conference
07-Apr-2005
Strasbourg, France -- The Mennonite Church in Vietnam is asking Christians worldwide to join them in fasting and prayer prior to the appeal hearing for the imprisoned church leaders. The office of the defense attorney has announced that the appeal will be heard by the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court on Tuesday, April 12.

Representing the Vietnam Mennonite Church, Mrs. Le Thi Phu Dung, wife of imprisoned pastor Nguyen Hong Quang, calls on Christians to fast and pray from the evening of April 10 through the morning of April 12 Vietnam time.

She requests prayer for those still imprisoned: Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang and evangelist Pham Ngoc Thach, and especially for Ms. Le Thi Hong Lien who is seriously ill and has been transferred to the Bien Hoa mental hospital.

The church asks for prayer that God would work in the appeals hearing so that the judges would judge justly, that the imprisoned persons be released, that confiscated church materials be returned and for Christians who plan to attend the April 12 hearing.

Further, prayer that Christians in all the churches will keep unswerving faith in difficult times and have freedom to worship God is requested.

Mrs. Quang, in expressing thanks for the support and encouragement given to the church, the imprisoned leaders and their families, said that her husband is a "faithful servant of the Lord Jesus." She maintains that "Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang and the Mennonite evangelists...never acted to prevent officials from carrying out their duties, and never violated the laws of Vietnam in the March 2, 2004 incident.

"The tradition and the position of our Mennonite Church is to espouse peace, respect freedom and justice, and contribute to the building of a progressive society filled with love, expressing the love and salvation of the Lord Jesus to all people. We are assured that God will use his power to deliver his servants," she declares.

Mrs. Quang urges people to pray in the spirit of Isaiah 58:6-7: "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter; when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?" (NIV)

And she quotes Hebrews 13:3: "Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." (NIV)

Two men were released in December, and a third released in March after serving nine and twelve month terms. They continue to have serious health problems.

Mennonite World Conference release from Vietnamese Ministries