Mass Raid Against Degar Christians

There was a mass raid against Degar Christians during a prayer vigil, which resulted in multiple injuries to infants and elders. On August 21, 2012, at approximately 7:30am, Degar Catholics from the village of Bon Kon H’Drom (commune of Dak T’Re, district of Kon Braih in Kontum province) were in the midst of having prayer and worshiping God when Vietnamese armed security forces raided them. While many were able to disperse, young children with their mothers and the elderly were not able to move quickly enough and were subsequently trampled by the security officers and struck with batons. More than 30 people were reportedly injured during the raid and their names are listed below:

  1. Y Nhuaih, age 72
  2. Y Nhim, age 77
  3. Y Byonh, age 72
  4. A Um, age 72
  5. A Tin, age 72
  6. A Nhoih, age 72
  7. A Ngrih, age 65
  8. Y Wing, age 62
  9. Y Nhih, age 55
  10. Y Hlop, age 65
  11. Y Kur, age 65
  12. Y Yih, age 62
  13. Y Kec, age 59
  14. A Min, age 52
  15. A Phet, age 62
  16. A Nhon, age 60
  17. A Tik, age 62
  18. Y Hnoi, age 60
  19. A Tiu, age 58
  20. Y Tyor, age 48
  21. Y Tit, age 60
  22. A Naih, age 27
  23. A Blaoh, age 28

Several reportedly lost consciousness from being trampled and struck with batons and did not regain consciousness until at least an hour later.

Infants and young children were also trampled over, kicked, and struck with batons and guns. Their names are below.

  1. A Dang, age 2
  2. A Trin, age 2
  3. Y Ni, age 3
  4. Y Mama, age 4
  5. A Ka, age 4
  6. A Kin, age 4
  7. A Cuen, age 12
  8. A Helling, age 9
  9. A Kui, age 4
  10. A Kuen, age 4
  11. A Hu, age 8
  12. A Tho, age 13
  13. A Tru, age 6
  14. A Yun, age 8
  15. A Son, age 10
  16. A Kon, age 10
  17. A Kat, age 3
  18. A Kuok, age 8
  19. A Duon, age 13
  20. A Lung, age 11
  21. A Kek, age 11
  22. A Mini, age 10
  23. Y Hua, age 10
  24. Y Phara, age 11
  25. Y Wan, age 8
  26. Y Yun, age 8
  27. Y Ly, age 11
  28. Y Ha., age 9
  29. Y Hyeo, age 11
  30. Y Huen, age 7
  31. Y Na, age 5
  32. Y Thoa, age 14
  33. Y Lia, age 7
  34. Y Bin, age 5
  35. Y Nguet, age 5
  36. Y Bet, age 7
  37. Y Kuk, age 3
  38. A Kam, age 10
  39. A Ku, age 5
  40. A Thai, age 10
  41. A Hwing, age 7
  42. Y Laih, age 5
  43. Y Huin, age 10
  44. Y Lung, age 11
  45. Y Mleng, age 10
  46. Y Cang, age 7
  47. Y Cin, age 9
  48. Y Cor, age 7
  49. A Khim, age 4
  50. Y Lim, age 3
  51. Y Le, age 11
  52. Hmi, age 8

In another village, Degar Christians who were worshipping were also attacked. From the village of Bon Kon P’Deh, commune of Dak T’Re, district of Kon Braih in Kontum province, nine Degar Christians were beaten during the raid. Their names are listed below:

  1. A Yung, age 62
  2. Y Ker, age 50
  3. A Hyak, age 50
  4. Y Duih, age 60
  5. Y Heoh, age 58
  6. Y Dor, age 56
  7. A Pre, age 59
  8. A Kia, age 54
  9. A Xi, age 54

As stated in article 69 and 70 of Vietnam constitution:

Article 69 – The citizen shall enjoy freedom of opinion and speech, freedom of the press,  the right to be informed, and the right to assemble, form associations and hold demonstrations in accordance with the provision of the law.

And in, – Article 70 – The citizen shall enjoy freedom of belief and of religion; he can follow any religion or follow none. All religions are equal before the law.

The places of worship of all faiths and religions are protected by the law.

No one can violate freedom of belief and of religion; nor can anyone misuse beliefs and religions to contravene the law and state policies.

The last paragraph of this article is vague and is intentionally placed there in order to give a wide range of reasons for the officials to persecute the indigenous Degar Christians in the Central Highlands.

We, the indigenous Degar people of the Central Highlands, humbly and eagerly ask the United States Congress and government to put pressure on the government of Vietnam to remove the last paragraph of article 70 and to respect its own constitution.

We, the indigenous Degar people, have completely lost our hope for life here in this world. It is true to us the indigenous Degar people when we look at what has happening to our ancestral homeland and our people’s living condition before and after1975. The only hope left for us is our faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This hope might not be true to most people in the world but our faith gives us confidence in the coming again of Christ and that He will receive us into Himself. Then, there will be no more sickness and no more sufferings.

But, the Vietnamese government also wants to destroy this last and only hope of ours by forcing us to believe in its government and to worship its communist party. We, the indigenous Degar people, know that we cannot protect this only hope of ours but we do believe and trust that the United States, European Union and the United Nations can help us.

Thank you and God bless.

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