A Vietnamese man was left bloodied and beaten by his own brother and isolated from his hometown after he, along with his family, converted from Islam to Christianity.
Persecution watchdog Open Doors USA reports that Khanh, 28, and his wife and daughter, became followers of Jesus just five months ago. The family, who lives in a province in Northern Vietnam, had been meeting with other believers from another village regularly for their own spiritual growth.
After hearing of his newfound faith, village leaders held a meeting and warned Khanh that if he did not return to Islam, the government would cut the social services his family is receiving, including access to health care and education for his daughter. The village leader, Mr. Duy, also warned that they will be expelled from the community if they continue to believe in Jesus.
The following evening, Khanh's brother Thanh came to his house to persuade him to forsake his faith, but Khanh refused. Infuriated, his brother began to beat Khanh and destroyed some of the property in Khanh's house. Khanh was left bloodied and injured, with wounds on his leg and head. Even worse - Khanh's young daughter was also hurt in this incident.
Today, Khanh and his family are living in the home of a local pastor, fearing what village leaders may do to them if they return home. Open Doors is asking believers to please pray for a quick recovery for Khanh and provision for his whole family.
The 2016 World Watch List, a ranking from Open Doors of the countries that most persecute Christians, put Vietnam at No. 20, and gave the Communist country the maximum score in the violence category. Christians make up just 9.5% of the country's population of 92.7 million.
"Historical Christian communities experience arrests and land-grabbing by the authorities. Converts to Christianity from Buddhist or ethnic-animist backgrounds face the strongest persecution, which comes not only from the authorities, but also from families, friends and neighbors," an Open Doors factsheet on Vietnam states. "Protestant Christian believers tend to gather in house-churches, and their members face discrimination at various levels of society."
Last November, Vietnam's communist government enacted a new, "Law on Belief and Religion", in an attempt to diminish the influence of hardline groups. However, human rights activists warn it could limit freedom of religion in the country and say allows authorities to single out and persecute religious groups they dislike.
Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch Asia division, told the South China Morning Post: "The bottom line is the Vietnamese government generally sees religion as something to be manipulated and restricted, not respected - and so they are constantly waging a battle across the country to keep religion under state control."