“I was not afraid, because God was with me”: a 95-year-old Vietnamese pastor testifies

Vietnam, 95-year-old pastor imprisoned five times for her faith

Duong Thi, a 95-year-old pastor, has defied persecution from the Vietnamese government all her life by courageously sharing her Christian faith despite persecution and five stints in prison.

Duong Thi, a fearless 95-year-old pastor, also known as Ms. Ly, has spent her life sharing the Gospel in her home country, Vietnam. A mission which earned him five stints behind bars. CBN News reports the testimony of this heroine of the faith, who played a crucial role in the spread of Christianity in the country.

Even behind bars, the pastor did not hesitate to share the Gospel, despite the ban on Bibles in prison. According to his children, devoted members of his church had taken to sending him sticky rice wrapped in Bible pages, allowing him to spread the scriptures to other prisoners. 

“I was not afraid, because God was with me,” says the 95-year-old pastor when she talks about this part of her life.

It was his father, himself a pastor of the Christian Missionary Alliance, who influenced his vocation. In 1982, she left the traditional church after having a powerful experience with the Holy Spirit. She then established the first charismatic house church in her town, according to her son Vú Toan Trung, also a pastor.

“My mother started the first charismatic house church in our town, traveling throughout Vietnam preaching the baptism of the Holy Spirit.”

During the interview with CBN News, Duong Thi shared his favorite verse:

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

At the conclusion of this exchange, the 95-year-old pastor wanted to pray for all pastors, to ask God to give them the strength and courage to share the message of Jesus.

"God, Heavenly Father, you are the God who reigns over the universe. Lord, we worship you. I pray for all pastors. Give them the strength and courage to share Jesus with those around them."

According to The report from the NGO Vietnam Human Rights Network, published in 2021, the human rights situation in Vietnam is alarming. Between 2020 and the beginning of 2021, 33 Christians were behind bars among 288 prisoners of conscience. The report indicates that the country persists in the violation of fundamental rights, including freedom of religion, opinion, expression and association.

Salma El Monser

Image credit: Screenshot/ Youtube

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