The evangelical house churches of Vietnam operate independently of the officially recognised Evangelical Church of Vietnam. The latter church represents 20% of Vietnam’s Protestants.
Under the communist government, churches must register and comply with strict regulations governing their activities and teachings, the training and appointment of ministers, and contact with Christians from other countries.
Vietnam’s house churches have opted not to register because of these conditions. As a result, they are forced to worship in private homes rather than church buildings. Police frequently disturb their meetings and slander them, forbidding them to carry out normal church activities.
Many Vietnamese Christians must meet secretly in the jungle to avoid being harassed by the police. Bibles, hymn books and church equipment have been confiscated. Many believers have been fined, arrested, publicly mocked before their communities, beaten and imprisoned.
Others have suffered when government officials withheld social and financial benefits normally available to Vietnamese citizens.