The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) mourned the passing of Patriarch Thích Quảng Độ, the leader of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV).
Feb 24, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2020
USCIRF Mourns the Passing of Patriarch Thích Quảng Độ
Washington, DC — The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) mourned the passing of Patriarch Thích Quảng Độ, the leader of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV). He was under effective house arrest at Thanh Minh Zen Monastery in Ho Ch Minh City from 2001 to late 2018, when he was able to flee to Tu Hieu pagoda, where he passed away on Saturday evening. USCIRF had advocated for Patriarch Thích Quảng Độ through the Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project. A USCIRF delegation met with him in September 2019.
“This is an incredible loss for the people of Vietnam,” USCIRF Chair Tony Perkins stated. “USCIRF urges the Vietnamese government to let UBCV members mourn their departed leader in peace.”
“I had the honor of meeting Patriarch Thích Quảng Độ at his pagoda last September,” added Commissioner Anurima Bhargava. “With his quiet strength and grace, he fought for decades to preserve and promote religious freedom in Vietnam.”
USCIRF has called on the U.S. government to designate Vietnam as a “country of particular concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act. As documented in USCIRF’s 2019 Annual Report and a recent Country Update, USCIRF has received regular reports of Vietnamese authorities harassing independent Buddhists, Catholics, Hoa Hao Buddhists, Cao Dai, Hmong and Montagnard Protestants, and other religious groups.
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 and belief. To interview a Commissioner, please contact USCIRF at firstname.lastname@example.org or Danielle Ashbahian at email@example.com or +1-202-702-2778.