Published: 12:00 GMT Daylight Time - Wednesday 18 April 2012
Christian orphanage in Vietnam raided and destroyed; children beaten
Country/Region: South and East Asia, Vietnam
A group of thugs stormed a Christian orphanage in a late night raid in Vietnam, beat the children and, with help from the police, destroyed the building.
The attack on the Agape Family centre in the capital, Hanoi, started shortly after midnight on 14 April. The offenders cut the electricity before throwing stones and other objects at the building to frighten the children.
|The attack took place in the capital, Hanoi
CC BY 2.0 / Nam-ho Park
They stormed the building and beat the children; the thugs carried one child away, and as he tried to resist, they repeatedly slapped him round the face.
Around 200 policemen arrived, but rather than protect the children and round up the offenders, they helped the mob to destroy the centre. Witnesses said that it was the police and local authorities who sent the thugs to carry out the initial attack; it appears to be part of their ongoing campaign to harass and intimidate the country’s Christians.
When a local church leader who has been heavily involved in the orphanage, heard about the raid, he rushed to the scene but was blocked by police. They beat him with batons, and he received such severe blows to the head that he lost consciousness. He was taken to hospital, where his condition was described as life-threatening. Other Christians were also wounded during the attack.
Local Christians denounced this latest act of state-sponsored persecution. One man expressed his dismay that, rather than respecting and encouraging the Church’s charitable activities, the authorities had destroyed the orphanage.