Gov't Move Benefits Vietnam Churches

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HO CHI MIN CITY, Vietnam - It's a sight seldom seen in Communist Vietnam-- Christians publicly worshipping Jesus Christ.

It happened when the government allowed more than 13,000 Christians to hold a public concert last April. Church leaders say they are benefiting from the government attempting to become a world player.

Pastor "Deborah" requested CBN News hide her identity for security reasons.

"Our government signed many policies when it joined the World Trade Organization like freedom of religion, freedom of human rights," she said.

Click play for more on the change in Communist Vietnam with Todd Nettleton of the religious freedom group Voice of the Martyrs.

Organizers hope to keep the momentum going with an even bigger worship concert this weekend.

An estimated 30,000 people are expected to attend.

"Very seldom do we have freedom to sing and pray together like this," she continued. "After 20 years of facing many difficulties, many tears and all the persecution, now the church is slowly emerging. The Lord is promising us that a great revival is coming to Vietnam."

CBN News visited several churches and found everyone praying earnestly for the big celebration.

Prayer teams even mounted up on motorbikes to ride around the city and saturate it with prayer.

CBN News Asia Correspondent Lucille Talusan went along for a ride.

"This is a team of intercessors from a Christian church and now Van (a native) is taking me on what they call the Vietnamese-style of Jericho walk," Talusan said. "This is called the Jericho motorbike prayer ride and everybody here is proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ over Vietnam."

"We bind the evil spirit, the king of the darkness," Van said. "We are praying that our people will be open for the Gospel."

That prayer was desperately needed. Two days before the event the government still had not issued a permit for the celebration.

Then officials canceled a pre-event prayer rally, so organizers went back to their house churches and prayed.

Soon after, the government granted the permit opening the door for what the Christians believe will be a great blessing to their country.

*Originally published December 11, 2009

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