By Mark Ellis –
Y Bi* lived in a small rural village with her husband and daughter, part of an ethnic tribe worshipping animistic gods – along with their ancestors.
Through the influence of Christians she met, Y Bi decided to follow Jesus, which led to rejection by her family and village, according to a report by Open Doors (OD).
One morning last year, as she cooked rice for breakfast, she got an unwelcome surprise. “The people from the village came in and took the furniture out of the house so they could demolish the house,” she recounted to OD through tears.
After people in the village realized she had become a Christian, they offered her a small amount of money to move away and she refused. So now they had come to destroy the home and kick her out of the village.
The tribal community no longer considered Y Bi one of their own. Even her own husband rejected her and announced he would take custody of their daughter.
“They pulled my hair and they dragged me out of the village. My child was crying; they took her so she could not see me.”
There was no question about why they spurned her. “[The villagers] said they did it because I followed Christ and also because when I followed Christ I was different than the other people, so they cast me out,” she said. “The police came over to stop the fighting, and they asked me to come to a new village.
“I didn’t want to go with [the police]; I told them my husband and child were in the village and I didn’t want to leave,” she said. “Because I insisted [I would] not go out, the police tied my legs up and put me on the back of a motorbike and drove me out of the village. I jumped off the bike—and the police told me I would be killed and should wait for them to solve the problem.”
The police put her back on the motorcycle and drove away. As the screams of her daughter faded, she knew that following Jesus had cost her everything.
“Y Bi was taken to a community of Christians—where her sister lives. Y Bi’s sister is also a Christian, and she had come to this small community made up of other Christians who had been forced from their homes after deciding to follow Jesus,” according to the report by OD.
In this village, she met Pastor Thang, who is supported by OD. “I myself have seven children,” Pastor Thang told OD. “Sister Y Bi is just like my daughter. And so, I can care for her.”
Y Bi’s sister gave her a present so she could grow in her faith. “My sister had a Bible that was a gift to me,” she says. “I love the stories in the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Because in these three books are the words from Jesus directly. I see that the Bible is the Word of God. It teaches us how to become like Him, so that’s why it’s very important to me.”
With help from Pastor Thang and OD, Y Bi hopes to have her own house soon, which informs part of her prayer requests. “I was thinking about that maybe one day I can cook in the kitchen of my new house for my husband and my child. And my second request is that my husband and daughter would accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. I wish there would be a day when my family could be united, where my husband and my child and I can worship God, just like other families.”
How to pray:
– Pray for protection for church leaders and evangelists who face persecution from both their family and state authorities in Vietnam.
– Pray with ethnic minority believers, as they often experience strong oppression from their communities—persecution that’s often backed up with government power. Pray they would be safe.
– Pray for a loosening of restrictions and increased freedom.
*Name has been changed to protect identity
To learn more about the work of Open Doors on behalf of persecuted believers, go here