- March 29, 2018
- Posted by: admin
- Category: advance
Tu Thien Van Truong
This paper will first present the context in which the Vietnamese Communist Party came into being in the North of Vietnam and its governing system of the entire country after it took over the South in 1975. The next part will review briefly the Vietnamese Protestantism and the forms by which the churches do their leadership training. The last part will talk about the objectives that the churches in Vietnam set forth for their leadership development.
SETTING THE CONTEXT
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were a period of turmoil for Vietnam. In this period, two powerful families partitioned the country: the Nguyễn Lords ruled the South and the Trịnh Lords ruled the North. The Trịnh-Nguyễn War was not only disastrous for the Vietnamese people but also provide European traders the opportunity to support each side with weapons and technology. In 1784, during the conflict between Nguyễn Ánh, the surviving heir of the Nguyễn Family, and the Tây Sơn Dynasty, Nguyễn Ánh sought advice from a French Catholic Bishop, Pierre Pigneaux de Behaine (Bá Đa Lộc), who advised him to seek military backing from France. Nguyễn Ánh wrote to France asking for military assistance; in return, Nguyễn Ánh promised to concede the town of Hội An (Faifo) and Côn Lôn island to France as well as allow France to conduct trade in the South. With help from France, Nguyễn Ánh defeated the Tây Sơn at Quy Nhơn the first time in 1793 and completely defeated the Tây Sơn in 1802.
After Nguyễn Ánh established the Nguyễn Dynasty in 1802 under the name Gia Long, he tolerated Catholicism and employed some Europeans in his court as advisors. However he and his successors were conservative Confucians who resisted Westernization. Considering the Westerners, especially Catholic missionaries, as a threat to the security of the country, the next Nguyễn emperors, Ming Mạng, Thiệu Trị, and Tự Đức (1833-1883), brutally suppressed Catholicism and pursued a closed-door policy. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese and foreign-born Christians were persecuted, and trade with the West seemed to be almost discontinued during this period.
These acts were soon used as an excuse for France to invade Vietnam. In 1858, French gunships attacked the port of Đà Nẵng and assumed control over the whole of Vietnam before the dawn of the twentieth century. French Indochina was formed in October, 1887, from Annam (Trung Kỳ, central Vietnam), Tonkin (Bắc Kỳ, northern Vietnam), Cochin China (Nam Kỳ, southern Vietnam), and Cambodia, with Laos added in 1893. Within French Indochina, Cochin China had the status of a French colony, Annam was a protectorate where the Nguyễn Dynasty still ruled in name, and Tonkin had a French governor with local governments run by Vietnamese officials.
As the French had established its domination throughout Vietnam, most of the Vietnamese people were living under double layers of oppression: the French government with its capitalists, and the Vietnamese feudalist system with the landlords as its representatives. The peasantry in Vietnam, who were already poor, now became poorer and lost their lands because of the policies favoring the landlords which were made by the feudalist government at the end of the nineteenth century. Đào Duy Anh, a famous Vietnamese historian, wrote, “Hồng Nhậm (King Dực Tông, 1847-1883) planned to cancel the equal distribution of land (quân điền) which was carried out under the Phúc Đảm dynasty in Bình Định, that proved that he only took notice of the benefits of landlords and the local wealthy and paid no attention to the benefits of the peasantry. Trickeries of the landlords and the local wealthy developed freely.”
This situation continued into the twentieth century. Under the oppression of French colonizers and Vietnamese feudalist landlords, the miserable life of the majority of Vietnamese people was also intensified by drought, failure of crops, and famine. In this situation, tens of thousands of people left their homes to find jobs or become beggars in other places. Many of these landless farmers eventually became workers in French mines, factories, and plantations, which were built upon “no owner” land in the country under French control. On these plantations, miserable farmers from Tokin came to work … with the hope that they could earn their living and save some money to bring home. But after three or four years, they become decrepit with malaria and odema…. Most of these people have no chance to see their families again. Those who could come back to their villages were only lifeless bodies without money and worn-out. They come back to die. But before they died, they scattered and disseminated the seeds of disease and hatred.
Against this socio-political background one can easily understand why there were many violent uprisings during this period. Some were inspired by the revolution in Russia and China and began to turn to radical paths. This period also witnessed the forming of political organizations to resist foreign invaders such as Việt Nam Quang Phục Hội, Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng, Hội Việt Nam Thanh Niên Cách Mạng, and Tân Việt Cách Mạng Đảng. Eventually, many of these uprisings converged, with the interference of the Communist International, into one organization, Đảng Cộng Sản Việt Nam (the Vietnamese Communist Party), which defeated the French troops at Điện Biên Phủ in 1954, leading to the signing of the Geneva Accord in July, 1954. It is this Geneva Accord that paved the way for France to leave Vietnam. The Geneva Accord also partitioned the country into two sections with the promise of democratic elections to reunite the country. But that election never took place, instead giving way to the so-called Vietnam War between the North and the South. It is important, however, that we understand the Vietnam War within a larger, international frame. The historian Robert Buzzanco, one of the U.S’s leading authorities on the Vietnam War, maintains that to American officials in the White House and Department of State it was crucial to support France and stop Asian communism at the time. This policy was necessary for three interrelated reasons: to maintain French support in the European Cold War, to contain communism in Asia, and to encourage economic development. Whereas U.S military officers looked at conditions inside Vietnam and saw great risks, civilian officials had a global outlook and saw Vietnam as part of a much larger contest: the Cold War.
In this context, the North of Vietnam was supported by the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union, and the South was supported by the United States and its allies. The war was escalating from the early 60’s, then reached its climax in the last years of that decade. American troops withdrew from Vietnam in March, 1973, and the war ended with the capture of Sài Gòn by the North in April, 1975.
After the reunification of the country in 1975, the Vietnamese Communist Party established their ruling system over the country. They put former South Vietnam soldiers into re-education camps; many of those soldiers never returned. Many Southern people could not stand the draconian policies of the new government and sought to escape overseas, even though such attempts involved the threat of death due to severe sea weather and rape and robbery by pirates. Though these escapers were first called betrayers by the communists, they contributed a good part in the development of the present day Vietnam.
The ensuing economic life of Vietnam became stagnant due to the “closed door” and “self-providence” policies of the government. Farmers were forced to give up their private lands, join co-operatives, and collect all crops in public storehouses. They were told this was a fair policy of the Party, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” a slogan popularized by Karl Marx in his 1857 Critique of Gotha Program. As it was seen in China, this utopian policy, no matter how great it was in theory, was unpractical and went bankrupt at the end of the 80s since farmers did not want to devote themselves to what they were not allowed to possess. The workers also experienced difficulties since factories, which were using out-of-date technologies, could not make high quality products and lost the confidence of domestic consumers. As a result, money was put into circulation very slowly. In addition, the slow-moving economy was also damaged badly by bureaucracy and corruption. At the same time, foreign trade was very limited due to an American trade embargo and the low quality of available goods. To make matters worse, the national budget was largely spent on compensation for the financial losses of state-owned corporations. Subsidization (bao cấp) was the main characteristic of the Vietnamese economy in the first half of the 80s. From the 90s, especially when the embargo against Vietnam was lifted, the Vietnamese economy gradually became a market economy though the Communist Party still remains the monopoly political party in the country.
The government’s policy toward religious bodies remained a very complex issue after 1975, as the communist government tried to maintain control of the religious life of the people of Vietnam. All religions in Vietnam had a tough time, and many worship centers were closed or confiscated by the government with no intention of returning them. Many spiritual leaders and believers sought to escape the country, while the remainder lived with anxiety and the fear of persecution. Almost all religious institutions were forced to establish patriotic associations. These associations functioned as bridges between the central committees of religious institutions and the government. However, many leaders in these associations were believed to be government agents. While some associations complied with the government’s demands, some, such as Protestant groups, did not. Regardless, leaders and followers in every religious institution were suspicious about each other since there were insiders who reported internal affairs to governmental authorities. They could not know for sure who were genuine followers and who were undercover agents. It was reported that there were Buddhist monks protesting the South Vietnamese government during the so-called Vietnam War. After the war, however, people soon realized these monks were communist undercover agents who tried to stir up an anti-war spirit among believers. This might explain why the Vietnamese government today pays so much attention to religious affairs. Unlike Karl Marx, who considered religion’s only function to be the opiate of the masses, Vietnamese communists understood that religion could pose a deadly threat to any political regime, especially their own.
One of the measures of religious persecution by the new government was to close down churches and confiscate a number of them for government use: It is estimated that right after 1975 about ninety percent of local churches were closed or confiscated. The persecution became more severe when the government applied forms of control such as getting the names and addresses of church members and printing their religious affiliation on their ID cards. This threatened many Christians, because they could be inhumanely discriminated against, and young Christians could be denied access to a college education or jobs. The government tried to control the national executive committee of the Protestant groups, thinking that through these committees they would be able to control all the Protestant churches in the South. Nevertheless, it failed to prevent or to destroy the development of the local churches because the system of administration and management of Protestant groups in the South were very loose, the leaderships of the national executive committees were very weak, and the local churches were self-sufficient.
The government exploited every reason to attack the local churches. It often exploited the close link of Vietnamese Protestants to the U.S. to justify persecution. For example, in order to confiscate the Nha Trang Biblical and Theological Institute, many articles appeared in the government Đại Đoàn Kết (Great Unity) magazine accusing it as an “institution of the American government to train Vietnamese to serve the imperialist America.” This suspicion is described clearly by Mai Thanh Hải, former editorial director of the Chính Nghĩa (Just Cause) newspaper,
America’s Christian and Missionary Alliance opened an office in Sài Gòn and focused on supporting Vietnamese Protestantism with financial assistance, media communications, training, and overseas visits and studies. When the Vietnam War escalated with American deep involvement, Vietnamese Protestantism also received abundant support sent from the other side of the Pacific Ocean. The National Board of Directors of Vietnamese Protestantism officially celebrated a National Assembly and quickly structured the organization into three levels: national, regional, and local churches. They intentionally organized two special regions for ethnic people in the Central Highlands, creating a specialized agent named “Agent of Minority Ethnic Evangelicals” under direct management of Americans.
A BRIEF REVIEW OF PROTESTANTISM IN VIETNAM
The Roman Catholics started their work in Vietnam in the sixteenth century—and succeeded in building a strong presence as early as the seventeenth century through pastoral and theological work. However, Protestant missionaries paid little attention to Vietnam, even in the nineteenth century, which is often considered the “great” century of Protestant missions. Vietnamese Protestant Christianity came into being in 1911 upon the arrival of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) missionaries. The first Vietnamese Protestant Church that appeared on the scene was the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (the ECVN). Other Protestant groups entered Vietnam in the following decades, such as: the Seventh-day Adventists, Southern Baptists, Pentecostals, Mennonites, the Church of Christ, and the Quakers. By the end of 1972 the ECVN had 45,287 baptized members and total adherents of about 127,505 with 490 congregations and 424 official pastors. By the time of the fall of Sài Gòn, it is estimated that the ECVN had about 48,000 baptized members. Other Protestant groups, except for the Vietnam Christian Mission, the Seventh-day Adventists, who operated on a small scale, and the Southern Baptists, who had only one local congregation, stopped their activities. Beginning again in the late 80’s, these groups resumed their operations.
After the first few years of bewilderment and struggle, Protestant groups recuperated and began to grow. Instead of destroying the church, persecution helped it grow faster, made it stronger, more mature, and more productive. Furthermore, every faithful church leader or Christian had to stand on his/her own and develop a personal resilience. The total estimated number of Vietnamese Protestant Christians in both the North and the South at the present time is about 1.5 to 2 million.
As mentioned above, when the Communists from the North took over the country, many Vietnamese Protestants could not endure their rule and sought to escape the country. A majority of them settled down in America, Canada, Australia, and other European countries. These believers found Vietnamese churches and sought affiliations with various denominations, including Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal, and Baptist. According to the Vietnamese Christian Fellowship Directory, there are about 350 Vietnamese churches of all denominations in America alone, and another 150 in Canada, Australia, and other European countries.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN VIETNAM’S COMMUNIST CONTEXT
After 1975, churches’ activities had to be reported and organized within the churches’ facilities. Local churches developed their young leaders with Bible study evenings. In this form churches could only train leaders for children and youth groups. But church leaders, especially newly trained ministers were much needed. New leaders were needed for new churches that were established in the Highlands, and they were also needed to help ministers in the existing churches in the cities and the country. Thus, underground training was the only form for leadership development in this period. Underground trainings were organized in parks, in farms, and also in jungles. These trainings were initiated by Christians in Vietnam or with the help of overseas Vietnamese Christians, and lately of Christians from other countries.
Leadership Training With the Help from Outside Vietnam
As mentioned above, with the fall of Saigon many southern Vietnamese people left the country and migrated to other countries. A significant number of these refugees came to the United States, resulting in the establishment of a substantial Vietnamese-American community. As a result, many Vietnamese Protestant Churches were founded in the United States and around the world. The increased number of Vietnamese Protestant Churches has created a sizeable need for well-trained Christian leaders and ordained pastors to minister to the Vietnamese churches. Therefore, a number of theological schools emerged to meet this need. And these schools also extended their operation to Vietnam.
The first institution was the Vietnamese Theological College (VTC), now its name is Union University of California (UUC). This school came into being in 1978 by the efforts of a number of Vietnamese pastors and leaders to train lay leaders for Vietnamese-American churches. In 1986 it was officially established as a non-denominational and degree granting theological school under the leadership of Dr. Spencer T. Sutherland, a former CMA missionary to Vietnam. In 1991 UUC offered distant learning courses for Christians living in Vietnam. Some years later UUC organized onsite classes in Vietnam and sent teachers for the Associate and Bachelor of Theology programs. Graduates from these programs are now serving in local churches in the country. However, because these programs did not have government permission, many times the classes were cancelled or moved from one place to another. In 2003, in the realization of the need of higher theological education, UUC organized intensive, master-level classes in Cambodia and brought students from Vietnam to take the courses twice a year, one month at a time. This intensive program lasted for nearly four years and was stopped when the police threatened to confiscate students’ passports without which they would not be able to go to any other countries. Although lasting only a short period, this program equipped a good number of people and now many of them are serving as leaders of house churches or faculty members in theological schools and training centers in Vietnam.
In 2005 UUC began to offer online courses for both the bachelor and master programs. UUC is now offering many programs such as the Bachelor of Arts in Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Ministry and Master of Divinity.
From 2013, UUC opened a Diploma in Ministry program. This program is equivalent to a high school program, and materials have been written by the Vietnamese. UUC offered classes of this program to churches in the highland and mountainous areas. Each month we send teachers to villages, and students in the villages get together for 4 days to study. There are about 300 students studying in 15 study centers.
Besides online, onsite and intensive classes, UUC also brought students from Vietnam to other countries to study theology. From 1997 UUC brought about thirty students to the USA to study and four of them graduated with doctoral degrees from prestigious schools and many others graduated with master degrees. Later UUC helped about another thirty students to study in McGilvary College of Theology in Thailand since 2006. Many of them graduated with the Master of Divinity program and came back to serve in the country.
The second school established outside of Vietnam was the Alliance Evangelical Divinity School (AEDS). This school was founded in 1998 as a denominational school. Like UUC, AEDS offered Bible training inside Vietnam with a six session program called Cuộc Đời Chúa Cứu Thế (The Life of Jesus Christ). Students receive a certificate of completion after they complete this program. AEDS offers this program via local churches inside Vietnam as Bible classes. Like UUC, AEDS organized intensive classes in Thailand for some years and brought students from Vietnam there to study. AEDS also brought students from Vietnam to the USA to study but only for intensive courses offered by AEDS. Right now AEDS offers programs such as a Diploma in Theology, Associate of Biblical Studies, Bachelor of Christian Ministry, Bachelor of Theology, Master of Christian Ministry, and Master of Biblical Studies.
Besides UUC and AEDS, some other schools and training centers were established in the USA and other countries and have their operation in Vietnam, but they are small scale and/or low quality.
Official Schools Established Inside Vietnam
As mentioned above, all Protestant theological schools and training centers were closed down by the Communist authorities after the reunification of the country in 1975. In 1988, the ECVN (Northern) got the government’s permission to open only one class with 14 students in Ha Noi, and it got permission to reopen its theological school in 2013.
The ECVN (Southern) got legal recognition in 2001 and about a year later it got the government’s permission to reopen its theological school, the Viện Thánh Kinh Thần Học (Institute of Bible and Theology, IBT). IBT was allowed to recruit 50 students for the first year and 100 students every two years from a second recruitment. Applicants need to pass the entry examination and then get the government’s approval in order to be accepted into the Bachelor of Theology program which is the only program offered. However, when the previous school was closed in 1976, the ECVN (Southern) still tried to find ways to maintain its theological training. In the early 1990s, an underground program was organized to help theological students to finish their program because their studies were stopped with the closing down of the school in 1976. Then this program became a training program for lay leaders who volunteered to serve as the heads of worship service centers or chapels that did not get the government’s official approval. This program became official with the name Supplementary Theological Program (Chương Trình Bổ Túc Thần Học) when the ECVN (Southern) got permission to reopen its school in 2003. Hundreds of lay leaders got trained through this program but this program was closed in 2008 by the ECVN.
Other recognized churches are also preparing to reopen their theological schools though like the ECVN (Southern)’s situation they had underground training programs to meet the needs of their local churches. Some churches got the government’s permission to open their training centers though they do not have the permission to open their schools yet. For example, Hội Thánh Báp-tít Việt Nam Nam Phương (Vietnam Southern Baptist Church), which got the legal recognition in 2008, had permission to open Bible Training Center for Pastors and Bible Training Center for Leaders.
From the 1980s to this day, the house church groups have established underground training programs to train local church leaders and evangelists. Most of these churches are locally established and often associated with churches in other countries. These local churches receive help financially as well as with other resources from foreign churches or organizations to do training. Some churches cooperate with schools in other countries such as South Korea or the Philippines to offer degree programs.
Besides, several individuals opened underground theological training centers by themselves or with the financial dependence from foreign churches or organizations. Some of them receive help from a number of people or churches from South Korea to establish underground theological schools or training centers.
OBJECTIVES OF LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN VIETNAM’S COMMUNIST CONTEXT
For their survival and development the churches in Vietnam have set the following three main objectives for their leadership training:
To Build Up a Spirit of Evangelism
Though developed significantly in the last several decades Vietnamese Protestantism still remains minor in Vietnam. When the Communist government took action to eradicate the Christian faith the churches had to respond in order to survive and grow. Following the CMA’s premillenial perspective Protestant Christians in Vietnam are taught that their most important task is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others because Jesus will return very soon. They believe that faith in Jesus Christ not only guarantees salvation in the age to come but also helps the believers find out true meaning of life on earth. Leaders, therefore, are needed to help Christians to share the Gospel so that people can be saved in this life and in the next. Socially, Vietnamese Protestants believe that the more people believe in God, the less social problems the society will face. For this reason, leaders need to be trained to equip church members to share their belief with people around them. They need to consider the task of sharing the Gospel the reason for their life. As church leaders they are taught to sacrifice their time, money, effort and even their lives to do evangelism, and to help other Christians to do the same things.
To Build Up Personal Moral Life
It can be said that the building of personal moral life within the Vietnamese Protestant circles is the first thing to discuss in leadership training. Vietnamese Protestants are taught that God not only controls the destiny of institutions and nations but also looks at the individual’s life. God’s justice requires a righteous way of living. Vietnamese Protestants always try to live up to the standards of Christian ethics in public as well as in their private lives. The belief in righteousness as well as in God’s love helps Vietnamese Protestants stay away from thoughts and actions that are negative and destructive, and pursue a good life. Therefore Christian leaders must be examples for this ethical, moral life. The task of leadership development in relation to this aspect is not only easily seen in training programs in theological schools, but also expressed in worship services on Sundays, in Bible studies, and in church conferences. Not only are Vietnamese Protestants taught not to participate in evil things but also in bad and destructive habits such as drinking and smoking. This is not to say that Vietnamese Protestants are always successful in living up to standards of an ethical and moral life. However, the Vietnamese Protestant efforts to live an ethical and moral life are widely recognized in the society of Vietnam in the present day.
To Replace Retired Ministers and to Help Church Growth
The training of new leaders to replace retired ministers is indespensable to leadership development program of any churches, and the churches in Vietnam are not exempted. But to replace retired ministers only will lead a church to shrink and eventually disappear, especially when it lives in an inimical and hostile situation. In order to survive and grow a church has to train more leaders than what it needs to replace retired ministers. It needs more leaders to plant new local churches. Under the Communist government’s persecution, churches in Vietnam could survive and develop in the last several decades because they understood the importance of leader development. And churches in Vietnam have done the work though they were not allowed to do so. Even when churches got permission to admit limited new students each year, they found ways to train leaders unofficially by organizing short-term trainings in local churches’ facilities and also in provincial short-term trainings. Leaders trained in these short-term trainings are crucial for the development of the churches.
Leadership development is of leading importance to any Christian church, especially when a church has to live in a persecuted context. Leadership development will help a church to survive and grow. In a communist context, leadership development can take the form of training programs in Bible colleges and seminaries. But mostly it is done unofficially and/or underground. Generally speaking, it can be said that the Protestant churches in Vietnam have done a good job in their leadership development in spite of persecution.
*This paper was presented at the ASM Forum in Thailand, 2016.
Tu Thien Van Truong
Dr. Tu Thien Van Truong graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey, and completed Doctor of Philosophy in Theology from the Graduate Theological Union University, California. He is serving as Academic Dean for the Vietnamese School of Theology in Union University of California. He, his wife Hannah, and their two sons reside in Da Nang, Vietnam.
 Trần Trọng Kim, Việt Nam Sử Lược (Short History of Vietnam), (1st print in 1921; reprinted, NXB Văn Hóa Thông Tin, 2002), 378.
 Ibid., 418-33.
 Đào Duy Anh, Lịch Sử Việt Nam: Từ Nguồn Gốc Đến Thế Kỷ XIX (History of Vietnam: From Beginning to XIX Century) (NXB Văn Hoá Thông Tin, 1955, reprint 2002), pp. 472-4.
 Trần Trọng Kim, Việt Nam Sử Lược (Short History of Vietnam), 515.
 Neil L. Jamieson, Understanding Vietnam (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA.: University of California Press, 1995), 42ff.
 Đào Duy Anh, Lịch Sử Việt Nam: Từ Nguồn Gốc Đến Thế Kỷ XIX (History of Vietnam: From Beginning to XIX Century), 479.
 On May 1, 1900, the French authorities in Vietnam issued a decree that vetoed the right of ownership of land in Vietnamese feudalist law. Nguyễn Quang Lê, Từ Lịch Sử Việt Nam Nhìn Ra Thế Giới (From History of Vietnam to History of the World) (Hà Nội: NXB Văn Hóa Thông Tin, 2001), 262.
 Andrée Voillis, Indochine S.O.S. (Paris: Les Éditeurs Francais Réunis, 1949), 115-6; quoted in Nguyễn Khánh Toàn et al., Lịch Sử Việt Nam (History of Vietnam), vol. 2: 1858-1945 (NXB Khoa Học Xã Hội, 2004), 238.
 See Robert Buzzanco, Vietnam and the Transformation of American Life (Blackwell Publishers, “Problems in American History” Series, 1999), chapter 2.
 The year 1975 has different meanings for different groups of Vietnamese people. For Vietnamese Communists, it was the year of Victory and Liberation from the Imperialist America and the puppet regime of the South. For people of the government of the South and those who supported it, it was the year of losing their country. For most of other Vietnamese people, it was simply a year that marked the change in regimes.
 See The Vietnamese American 1.5 Generation: Stories of War, Revolution, Flight, and New Beginnings, ed. by Sucheng Chan (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006.
 For a good discussion of the many functions of religion, see K. H. Ting, “On Religion as Opiate,” in Love Never Ends, edited by Janice Wickeri (China: Nanjing Amity Printing Co., Ltd, 2000), 223-33.
 Directory of the ECVN, 1993 (Sài Gòn, 1993), 33; quoted in Nguyễn Hữu Cương, “The Growth of Certain Protestant Churches in Saigon under the Vietnamese Communist Government from 1975”, 65.
 Nguyễn Hữu Cương, “The Growth of Certain Protestant Churches in Saigon under the Vietnamese Communist Government from 1975”, 78.
 The Fatherland Front, “Invisible Prison,” Đại Đoàn Kết (Great Unity), No. 41, 1977; quoted in Nguyễn Hữu Cương, 80.
 Mai Thanh Hải, Tôn Giáo Thế Giới và Việt Nam (Religions in the World and in Vietnam) (Hà Nội, NXB Công An Nhân Dân, 1998), 161.
 Peter Phan, Mission and Catechesis: Alexandre de Rhodes and Inculturation in Seventeenth-Century Vietnam (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1998), 202.
 Reginald E. Reimer, “Protestant Directory, Churches, Missions and Organizations in Vietnam” (Saigon: Office of Missionary Information, 1972), 5; quoted in Nguyễn Hữu Cương, 13.
 Nguyễn Hữu Cương, “The Growth of Certain Protestant Churches in Saigon under the Vietnamese Communist Government from 1975”, 13.
 Its Vietnamese name is Cơ Đốc Truyền Giáo Hội, locally established in 1956 by the CMA missionary G. H. Smith who disagreed with the CMA’s policies on social work. See Nguyễn Thanh Xuân, Bước Đầu Tìm Hiểu Đạo Tin Lành Trên Thế Giới và Ở Việt Nam (Towards an Understanding of Protestantism in the World and in Vietnam), (Hà Nội: NXB Tôn Giáo, 2002), 436f.
 This number is the unofficial statistics of church populations circulated among church leaders. Official statistics of this number is not available.
 Directory of Vietnamese Christian Fellowship, 2013-2014.