Reports have surfaced that evangelist Luis Palau's efforts to celebrate Easter with Christians in Hanoi were recently thwarted by the Vietnamese government.
After thousands had gathered for Palau's historic public event in Ho Chi Minh City, the popular pastor headed north to the nation's capital. But Palau's team quickly discovered that holding a public evangelistic event in the communist stronghold is not as easy as it is in the country's more Christian South.
Palau and Vietnamese Christians were optimistic that the Hanoi meeting would proceed as scheduled, but government officials repeatedly blocked organizers from staging the event as planned.
Rather than just saying no (that would mean losing face with their guest and with the West), Hanoi authorities made it impossible for Christians to hold the Easter celebration.
Read more from Compass Direct.
Palau says he hopes to return to Vietnam this summer. He's likely to try again in Hanoi.
Yes, Christians are experiencing greater religious freedom in Vietnam today than they did five years ago, but Vietnam still has a long way to go. Hmong Christians and other ethnics in the mountain areas are still jailed regularly and persecuted for their faith in Christ. Unregistered churches and Bible schools are frequently raided by police.
Learn more by watching this story broadcast earlier this month on our Christian World News program:Vietnamese Pastor Fights Crackdown
Also, view Luis Palau's jubuliant arrival earlier this month in Ho Chi Minh City by clicking on the video below:
This Easter season, pray for greater openness in all of Vietnam. Pray that Christians throughout the country--from Hanoi to the Central Highlands and beyond--will enjoy the religious freedom recently demonstrated and enjoyed in Ho Chi Minh City.