Vietnamese pastors told evangelist Luis Palau this week that big changes are taking place in their country.
Palau was in Vietnam March 11-17, meeting with church leaders, officials and U.S. diplomats.
During a two-day event with more than 500 pastors, they discussed a recent Christian celebration that drew 40,000 people, all with government permission.
"The last Christmas the government authorized the church in the North to use a stadium. They had about 40,000 people at the stadium. A new friend of ours, an evangelist pastor here in Vietnam, gave the gospel message. And 8,000 people, give or take, made a commitment to Jesus Christ, right at the stadium," Palau said. "Now this is an unusual breakthrough and it augurs well for what God wants to do in Vietnam as a whole."
U.S. Ambassador Michael W. Michalak also told Palau there's been progress in Vietnam on religious freedom issues.
"This is Vietnam's first peace generation in hundreds of years, the first time families can look forward to the future without the fear of sending their young people off to war," he added.
Palau urged the Vietnamese pastors to respect the nation's leaders and pray for them. He also challenged church leaders to keep making great plans and praying great prayers.
Palau's own plans include a return to Vietnam, where he hopes to soon have permission to hold massive public meetings.