Vietnam needs the Gospel. It is a country of over ninety-five million people and officially, less than a half-million Protestants (the unofficial number of Protestants, though, is said to exceed 2 million and is growing rapidly).
And Vietnam is a young nation with a median age of 30 and 40% of its population under the age of 24 and only 6% over the age of 65. Vietnam, slightly larger than New Mexico it is bordered by Cambodia, China and Laos. The country has eight primary ethnic groups, of which the majority is the Kinh (Viet), making up 85.7% of the population. It is a communist country—but one experiencing significant change. In 1990 70% of the population lived in poverty. By 2012 this number had been lowered to 11% and currently experiences a 95% literacy rate. “Vietnam has achieved a truly remarkable thing. It has managed to produce one of the fastest economic expansions and modernizations in the history of the world. The modernization of Europe and the Americas took centuries. The modernization of China was achieved in approximately 50 years. Compare that to the astonishing modernization which only began in Vietnam in the mid 1990’s. In about 20 years, the country has turned from a destitute population on the verge of starvation to an expanding middle class that is considered by all economic indicators to be the fastest such expansion in the world.”
But, World Audit ranks it a dismal 130th out of 180 countries when it comes to democracy and civil liberties. It ranks 140th with regards to press freedom and 93rd when it comes to corruption. Looking at the parameters of “legal environment,” “political environment,” and “economic environment,” it is given a “not free” rating—scoring worse than Afghanistan and only slightly better than Iran. When searching for orphanages to assist, we were surprised in not finding that many in Vietnam. This may be due in part to the veryhigh rates of abortion-- estimated to be 40% of all pregnancies--and considered to be one of the highest rates in both Asia and the world. We have been told that it is as easy for a woman in Vietnam to get an abortion as it is for an American over here to get a Big Mac and fries—only the abortion in Vietnam is cheaper. Vietnam needs the Gospel.