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USCIRF Statement on New Restrictions by Vietnamese Government on Religious Leader Patriarch Thích Quảng Độ

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 28, 2018

 

USCIRF Statement on New Restrictions by Vietnamese Government on Religious Leader Patriarch Thích Qung Đ

WASHINGTON, DC — United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Vice Chair Kristina Arriaga today called on the government of Vietnam to respect the freedom of movement and religious freedom of Patriarch Thích Quảng Độ, the leader of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV). According to reports, although the Patriarch now has chosen to reside at Từ Hiếu Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnamese authorities are trying to return Thích Quảng Độ to his home province of Thái Bình, likely in an attempt to isolate him from fellow UBCV members.

“For more than three decades Vietnamese authorities have victimized Patriarch Thích Qung Đ for his religious identity and human rights advocacy, and they are still not letting up,” said Vice Chair Arriaga. “I urge the government of Vietnam to respect his freedom of movement and freedom to reside wherever he chooses.”

Vice Chair Arriaga advocates for Thích Quảng Độ as part of USCIRF’s Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project. Arriaga also issued a statement on Thích Quảng Độ last month.

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The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze and report on threats to religious freedom abroad. USCIRF makes foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion or belief. To interview a Commissioner, please contact USCIRF at Media@USCIRF.gov or Kellie Boyle at kboyle@uscirf.gov or +1-703-898-6554