A Hmong Christian and his family have been stripped of citizenship rights in Vietnam because of their faith.
The rights group International Christian Concern reported the citizenship rights of Xong Ba Thong and his family were stripped June 4. The family became Christians five years ago.
Since 2019 officials in Nghe An province have tried to coerce Thong and his family to renounce their Christian faith. Some of their tactics included confiscating Thong’s plow and terminating the family’s electricity for more than a week. After stripping the family’s rights, one child’s birth certificate was rescinded.
The family was targeted even after being accepted into a state-registered church.
Officials maintained that the only beliefs and customs Hmong people can practice legally are those of the Hmong, ICC stated. When Thong pointed to Vietnam law that allows all citizens freedom to practice their chosen faith, officials said the law does not apply to Nghe An province.
Vietnam is No. 19 on Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.