Thousands of Christians in Vietnam recently got a double whammy.
First, their main source livelihood was gravely affected when illegal waste dumping into the sea by a foreign company resulted in an environmental disaster, contaminating and killing much of the fish in the coastal area, Asia News reports.
Second, when some 4,000 Christian residents of the fishing community of Ky Anh staged a rally to clamour for protection and assistance from the local government, instead of helping them, the local leaders sent in the police to beat them up, leaving several protesters injured by truncheon blows.
International Christian Concern, a group that monitors Christian persecution, noted that the mass fish deaths have left thousands of families living in the coastal town in a state of panic.
“Fishing is a vital and important source of income and food for Vietnam and would have a major impact on the economy if the situation continues without proper counter measures. As a result, protests have continued and local authorities, in an attempt to quell the situation, have resorted to violence,” the group said in its report.
“Vietnam continues to harass, intimidate, and beat religious minorities as countless Christian pastors remain in prison merely for their beliefs,” it added.
SOURCE: Hazel Torres