Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, September 07, 2007

The plight of Vietnamese Christians

In an opinion piece in The Christian Post Monday, Carl Moeller, the head of the Christian charity Open Doors USA, calls attention to ongoing religious persecution in Viet Nam.

As Moeller notes, The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended last May that Viet Nam be placed back on the 2007 Countries of Particular Concern list. The Commission supported its recommendation by stating: “Since the CPC designation was lifted and Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), positive religious freedom trends have, for the most part, stalled, and Vietnam has initiated a severe crackdown on human rights defenders and advocates for the freedoms of speech, association and assembly, including many religious leaders who previously were the leading advocates for religious freedom in that country.”

Moeller also spotlights the recent death of Vin Y Het, a young Hroi ethnic minority man, who died in June from injuries he received from police after refusing to recant his Christian faith. His death occurred as Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet was visiting President Bush in Washington, D.C. Still, many people throughout the world believe there is little persecution occurring in Viet Nam now that the country has become more fully integrated into the global economy.

Religious freedom is particularly restricted for ethnic minority churches on the border of Laos and China, a remote region where the government often blocks unregistered religious services.

Furthermore, local officials are now dealing with religious violators, making it easier to hide atrocities from the international community.

For the full story, click here.


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