A Vietnamese pastor, identified as Nguyen Hong Quang, was beaten until he fell unconscious on Dec 14 by officials in Ho Chi Minh City.
His Bible school was also bulldozed, according to Release International, which serves the persecuted church around the world.
Reports said as many as 500 police, soldiers and fire officers turned up at the Bible school at 7 am local time and began to demolish the property. When Pastor Quang resisted the demolition operation, he was beaten with batons until he fainted. Quang leads the Mennonite Church in the area.
Quang and five of his associates were arrested and are currently held at an undisclosed location. Release International said they were detained for allegedly ‘resisting arrest’ six years ago.
The pastor who is also a human rights activist was arrested and charged with ‘interference’ in official duty of the police in 2004. Then, he was arrested for seeking the release of Christians who were jailed for distributing Christian literature in Ho Chi Minh city. At that time, police had raided his house and confiscated money and files that detailed human rights violations by the government.
Release International said the recent attack on Tuesday ‘appeared carefully planned and coordinated.’
Although freedom of worship is guaranteed under the Vietnamese constitution, the Communist government in power restricts all organized activities of several religious groups.