There is a word
of the Lord that the leadership of the nation
needs to hear and to understand: “Stop
persecuting the Montagnards that have fled to
your country for protection and safety. Your
responsibility lies not in judging them as to
refugee status nor is it to hunt them down.
God will show no favor to you or your land if
you persist in this manner. It is time to act
in manner consistent with the UN treaties that
you have signed. It is time to show the world
that the value of human life is important to
Since April of this year many Montagnards (both
Christian and non-Christian) have been forced
to flee their native homeland in the Central
Highlands of Vietnam.
On Easter Sunday this year (2004) the Montagnards
protested against the lack of religious freedom
and forced removal from their homes. In response
the Vietnamese authorities showed no mercy and
launched a brutal crackdown against them. To
escape the brutality many indigenous Montagnards
fled into the jungles of neighboring Cambodia.
Sources tell us that as many as 250 of these
Montagnards are now in hiding in the jungles
and are at risk due to a lack of food and sickness.
The Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has stated
on the record that there are no Montagnard refugees
in Cambodia and has labeled them
as illegal “economic migrants”.
He has threatened to root them out by force
and send them back to Vietnam. He promised to “break
them” under a deceptive official line
that they are setting up camps to fight for
independence in Vietnam.
Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on July 7, 2004
that they found 85 Montagnards. In separate
interviews RFA discovered that the refugees
lacked food and drinkable water. They were suffering
from malaria and unexplained fevers and rashes.
The Cambodia Daily photographed and numbered
the refugees at 250. Prime Minister Hun Sen
is making a mockery of reputable news services,
of the Montagnards and of God with his misleading
The international community through the UN and
many NGO groups has also been denied access
to the border areas to verify the truth. The
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) should be the one to determine refugee
status but their attempts to assess the status
of those hiding in the jungle have been stymied
by the Cambodian government. Cambodia
needs to follow the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
(1951) and the additional Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (1967) that it acceded to in 1992.
must not be allowed to regress in those promises
or to test the resolve of humankind to rally
around the suffering Montagnards.
has the opportunity to demonstrate to the World
that the “Killing Fields” of the
Pol Pot regime taught Cambodia a lesson that will
never be forgotten. A chance to redeem the negatives
of the past and a demonstration that Cambodia
can function among the civilized nations of
the Earth. In doing so Cambodia
will see that God can pour out a blessing on
a nation that will walk in the “Fear of
Why do you persecute me says the Lord of hosts?
"Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord,
when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or
thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And
when did we see You a stranger, and invite You
in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see
You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The
King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say
to you, to the extent that you did it to one
of these brothers of Mine, even the least of
them, you did it to Me.‘
I would encourage you to take the time to pray
over this situation. Pray that: