By DS-Studio-N

The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. Psalm 37:39

Vietnamese Christian K’pa Lot died on 11 March 2010 after nearly three years in prison. He had been jailed on 20 May 2007 because of his public support for religious liberty in the country, where Christians face many restrictions. Lot, a married father of two, was held in isolation and suffered daily beatings. He was taken to hospital two days before he died, apparently from internal bleeding caused by the violence. His grieving family could barely recognise him because he was so swollen and bruised. They were not allowed to take his body home for a proper burial.

Christians in Vietnam, particularly those associated with unregistered house churches, face severe persecution and restrictions on their activities. The most heavily affected are from the minority-ethnic Degar community, who live in the central highlands of Vietnam. At around the time of Lot’s death, at least 300 Degar Christians were in prison for their faith.

Oh! That I might repose on Thee!

Oh! that Thou wouldest enter into my heart and inebriate it, that I may forget my ills, and embrace Thee, my sole good!

What art Thou to me? In Thy pity, teach me to utter it.

Or what am I to Thee that Thou demandest my love, and if I give it not, art wroth with me, and threatenest me with grievous woes?

Is it then a slight woe to love Thee not?

Oh! For Thy mercies’ sake, tell me, O Lord my God, what Thou art unto me.

Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.

So speak, that I may hear.

Behold, Lord my heart is before Thee;

open Thou the ears thereof, and say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.

After this voice let me haste, and take hold on Thee.

Hide not Thy face from me.

Let me die – lest I die – only let me see Thy face.

Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.