Photo of The Week

A choir of ethnic Hmong in Vietnam's Central Highlands performing.

Hmong Song

A choir of ethnic Hmong in Vietnam's Central Highlands performs at a time when authorities are making it harder to worship. Officials are forcing congregations from several villages to combine into a single church so they can better monitor their activities. "The government wants to suppress the spread of the gospel," the leader of an indigenous ministry said. "One area has five churches within an area of a radius of 20 kilometers (12 miles) that have been registered, approved. They are going to be combined together into one big megachurch so that the government can control it better." Families are hard-pressed to make it that far to Sunday worship by bicycle, and trying to cram 2,000 people into one structure is impossible. The ministry is expanding the kingdom of God, however, by helping congregations to build worship centers, training evangelists and pastors and providing an "Evangelical Explosion" curriculum to pique people's curiosity. "When one person believes in these ethnic groups, the family and the neighbors also will believe," the director said. "It's a movement, and that's why the government doesn't like it."

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