Friday, April 24, 2009

Large Easter service in Ho Chi Minh City

An Easter-related service attended by some 15,000 protestant Christians and organized by a group of house churches was held at Tao Dan Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City April 22. It was attended by more than 15,000 people, according to Compass Direct News. The meeting was unprecedented both in its size and in the fact that it was allowed to take place, given the government's long-standing hostility and suspicion of the house church movement in Vietnam.

Despite earlier assurances from the government, official permission for the service to take place was not granted until 4 pm on that day, three hours before the service was to take place, with one of the conditions the removal of Baptist house church Pastor Nguyen Ngoc Hien as one of the organizers. Hien also heads the Christian Fellowship of Vietnam.

Assemblies of God pastor Dong Thanh Lam served as Master of Ceremonies at the event, with messaged delivered by Pastor Vo Van Hoc of the Full Gospel Church and Pham Dinh Nhan of the United Gospel Churches. Compass Direct says 1,200 people dedicated their lives to follow Christ at the service.

Source: Compass Direct News April 23.


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