A week after granting permission for a large Christian gathering in Ho Chi Minh City, authorities in Vietnam reneged on a verbal promise to allow a much-anticipated public Easter celebrations in Hanoi.
An interchurch organizing committee had submitted a request for permission well in advance and had made elaborate preparations for the special events featuring renowned evangelist Luis Palau Friday and Saturday (April 15-16).
The organizers said they were disappointed but not entirely surprised by the Communist government's action.
"The authorities have clearly demonstrated to the world what we experience regularly—that their promises, whether verbal or written, cannot be trusted," said one church leader who requested anonymity.
Asked to speculate on the reasons for the government's ultimate refusal, another key church leader said, "I don't know why, but it almost seems as if the government is deliberately damaging its own reputation."
Shortly after 1 p.m. on Friday (April 15), after long ...1