Population: 90 million (2014)
Official language: Vietnamese
Major religion: Buddhism
Vietnam is a developing country which has been changing rapidly yet unsteadily since the Vietnam War (1956-1975) and economic reforms of 1986. With 45% of the population between the ages of 15 and 49, young people play an important role in the life of the country. Increasing globalisation means the society is greatly impacted by values of different cultures.
As a minority in an atheist society under a Communist government, Christians are often treated unfairly and as a result are very alienated and made to feel that they are outsiders. The challenge for students is to prove there is a creator God and to live authentically according to the gospel.
Students in Vietnam
- 424 tertiary institutions, around 80 institutions with Christian groups
- pioneering ministry with graduates, and some work among high school students
- largest student group: around 50 students; smallest group: 2-5 members, in many areas
During the past decade, God’s kingdom has been extended in campuses rapidly. God is faithfully at work and many seek to live sacrificially and to accomplish his work among students. However, no groups are allowed to meet inside the university due to security.
A view from the inside
A friend in student ministry writes: ‘I joined a Christian group in my first year of university. It opened my eyes to see God’s work and his kingdom among young people. I have learned to be part of God’s big picture for the world, especially in campuses. As a worker in God’s mission field, I find that the journey of discovering his beauty and wonder each day brings me hope and joy.
‘Philippians 4:9 inspires me: “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
‘I have known God’s sustaining power during the war and also the “silent period” in the history of student ministry. This experience sheds light for the journey ahead with all its uncertainties and insecurities.’
Please pray for:
- students to take initiative in their mission to their campuses: to excel in their studies, to be confident in their Christian faith, to get along well with their teachers and friends and to wisely and faithfully communicate the gospel regardless of persecution;
- pioneering where student work has not yet been established;
- more graduates to share the common vision to give continuity to the work, to support the church, and to impact the society by holding fast to the Christian values in the midst of increasing corruption in the marketplace;
- staff workers to serve God faithfully regardless of any difficulties.