Life of a Vietnamese senior Lutheran Pastor has been threatened due to repeatedly attacks by criminal inmates.

Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh during the trial on March 23, 2012
“I feared for his life because he was repeatedly attacked by criminal inmates,” said Mrs Nguyen Thi Hong, the wife of Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh as she deplored her husband repeatedly mistreatment by staff of the An Phuoc Camp where he is incarcerated.

Nguyen Cong Chinh, 44, is a senior Lutheran Pastor who, after being arrested by the police in April 2011, was sentenced by a people's court to eleven years in prison. He was accused of "undermining national unity" and “having actively participated in organizations to oppose the state”.

On Aug. 18, during a visit to her husband, Mrs Nguyen Thi Hong was frightened seeing her husband’s swollen face. The latter informed her that he had been beaten without any reasons by a group of criminal inmates, and although he filed a complaint against his attackers, he complaints and his serious injuries had failed to be translated into effective intervention strategies for preventing future assaults. Continual attacks still happened.

During her last visit on Oct. 15, the couple met for an hour in the presence of guards who filmed and recorded their words. She noticed bruising on his eyes. The pastor insisted that his life was in danger as he had been savagely attacked twice by groups of criminal inmates.

Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh was born in 1969, in the province of Quang Nam. He is now the senior Lutheran Protestants in Vietnam, a religious group not officially recognized by the government. He exercised his ministry in the City of Pleiku, Gia Lai province, the Central Highlands Vietnam.

For years, the pastor has been subjected to police persecution. In 2003, his chapel was destroyed three times and his property was confiscated. In June, 2009, his home, which was also a place of worship, was completely destroyed by a large number of police.

Before his arrest, since 1988, he had lived in the province of Gia Lai without any identity papers. His numerous requests for official documents faced the outright refusal of local authorities. He was finally arrested in spring 2011. The trial was sentenced to prison did not occur until almost a year later, on March 23, 2012.