Area: 331,653 sq km
Long, narrow country occupying the entire eastern and southern coastline of Indochina.
Population: 89,028,741 Annual Growth: 1.15%
Official language: Vietnamese Languages: 106 All languages
Largest Religion: Buddhist
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Leaders development and theological training are the most urgent needs of the Vietnamese church. As numbers increase, so does the potential for false teaching and error. Opportunities for training are still highly restricted and piecemeal. The Catholics have reopened several seminaries, all monitored by the government. The only legal Protestant training institute is run exclusively for the ECVN(S). Some other registered churches are allowed to train their pastors on a case by case basis. There are informal study programmes and unofficial Bible schools in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and elsewhere, but a standardized curriculum would be a boon. Expatriates often quietly enter the country to do leadership seminars and modular training, but their low profile limits the impact. Beyond theology, training in other leadership skills such as management, finance, accounting and vocational training is crucial. Many pastors are already responsible for multiple congregations and have no time or money for full-time training. Pray for creative, sustainable and effective means of developing a new generation of Christian leaders.
The Vietnamese Diaspora has two elements: those who fled the Communists, mostly in the 1970s, and those who more recently travelled abroad as guest workers in other Asian countries. Over three million live around the globe, where they are more accessible to ministry. Hundreds of thousands (including many from minority ethnic groups) are labouring abroad as migrant workers and have encountered the gospel in Malaysia, South Korea or other transit points, often through the evangelistic work of Vietnamese living abroad. Many overseas Vietnamese are returning to their homeland with a spiritual burden for their country; pray for fruitful and sensitive ministry to flourish as a result.
For an additional 8 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Vietnam.