Vietnam protesters lured by doomsday cult

The Straits Times, Singapore/May 19, 2011

Hanoi - HMONG people who staged a rare protest in north-western Vietnam were lured by a cult that says the world will end this Saturday, according to a pastor with links to the ethnic minority group.

Doan Trung Tin, who leads the nationwide Vietnam Good News Mission Church, told AFP on Thursday that about 60 families from his church went to the remote north-west for a gathering of Hmong awaiting the return of Jesus Christ.

He said some of his impoverished parishioners - about 300 people - sold their belongings to pay for the bus journey from their homes in the Central Highlands provinces of Dak Lak and Dak Nong to the gathering in Dien Bien more than 1,000km away. They were lured in part by a translated document that spoke about the prophesies of Harold Camping, Pastor Tin said.

'Many of them, they received this' document, he said.

Camping operates an American-based Christian radio network that broadcasts in many languages, including Vietnamese, and claims the world will end on Saturday.

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