“All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
This immortal statement was made in the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America in 1776. In a broader sense, this means: All the peoples on the earth are equal from birth, all the peoples have a right to live, to be happy and free.
The Declaration of the French Revolution made in 1791 on the Rights of Man and the Citizen also states: “All men are born free and with equal rights, and must always remain free and have equal rights.”
Those are undeniable truths.
–opening lines to the Declaration of Independence of Viet Nam as presented by Ho Chi Minh on 2-Sep-1945
This is a year of some significant “decade” anniversaries in Viet Nam. Looking back 70 years from this September 2nd we can see the formal Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam. As World War II came to a close Ho Chi Minh hoped to see an independent Viet Nam emerge. Post-war restructuring by the Allies however returned “French Indochina” to French control leading to the fighting initially against the French and later the Americans through the Vietnam War.
After 30 years of that conflict the end of the Vietnam War came on 30-April-1975 as north and south Viet Nam became a single country. The 40th anniversary of that date was celebrated in Viet Nam earlier this year. The years that followed the close of the Vietnam War were hard ones. The loss of life and property in the country were high and the rebuilding was extremely difficult particularly as the country continued to try and remain isolated. By the mid-1980’s Viet Nam began to introduce the “Doi Moi” (literally ‘renovation’) reforms that led to a greater opening up of the country. This opening up included a thawing of relationship with the United States and on 11-July-1995, 20 years ago this year, the two countries normalized their relationship and re-opened embassies.
70-40-20 – each anniversary significant in its own right marking milestones that have had and continue to have significant impact on the peoples of Viet Nam and on the people of the U.S. For many those dates bring forth a strong emotional response. Others from younger generations know some of the history but have no real personal connection to that past. Rachel is one such young person. She’s about to take a trip through Viet Nam to answer some of these questions. What is Viet Nam like today? What are the people like? The families? The cities? The ethnic groups? From south to north from coast to inland what does Viet Nam look like? How can we pray for the peoples of Viet Nam that they might be reached with the Gospel?
Follow Rachel’s Journey: Vietnam through God’s lens (hashtag #rachelsjourney) here on our website or through one of our social media channels and watch the answers to these questions unfold. Allow Rachel’s images and writing to serve as a virtual prayerwalk through the country and join us in praying for the peoples of Viet Nam!