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A Hmong Christian family has lost citizenship rights due to their faith


Officials in Nghe An province, Vietnam stripped ethnic Hmong Christian Xong Ba Thong and his family of citizenship rights on June 4. This declaration comes after years of officials trying to coerce Mr. Thong and his family to stop practicing their Christian faith.


The Hmong family converted to Christianity five years ago after listening to radio broadcasts. Since 2019, officials have demanded the renunciation of their faith. Despite Mr. Thong and his family’s official acceptance into the state-registered Vietnam Evangelical Church (Northern) General Assembly in April, officials continued to pester them.

In an attempt to persuade Mr. Thong to leave Christianity, local officials claimed that it is illegal to practice another religion. Similar assertions have surfaced in nearby villages. One statement reads, “families are to abide by the law and [… ] not to follow other religions but only the long-standing beliefs and customs of the Hmong people.”

In response, Mr. Thong has gone before district officials to read the Vietnamese law on belief and religion which states that all citizens may practice their faith freely. Officials deny that this law holds true for the village and province in which Mr. Thong lives.

Mr. Thong and his family’s resiliency has led officials to confiscate their plow donated by the state for farming purposes and cut off their electricity for more than a week.


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