USCIRF today welcomed the release of A Dao, a pastor of the Montagnard Evangelical Church of Christ. Vietnamese authorities had arrested him on August 18, 2016, after he returned to Vietnam from a conference about religious freedom in East Timor.
Around the world, nations want to emulate the West in general, and the United States in particular, with regard to material achievements. We in the United States enjoy housing, clothes, electronics, and diet of an affluent nation. However, we have not done a good enough job of explaining to nations around the world that the major attribute that makes life worth living in the West is the freedom to express ideas in general, and religious ideas in particular.
USCIRF today released the following new report about Vietnam.
This report provides a country update on religious prisoners of conscience in Vietnam. The Vietnamese government has detained dozens of individuals because of their religious affiliation or their advocacy on behalf of religious freedom. This report provides updates on several religious prisoners of conscience, including Nguyen Bac Truyen and Pastor A Dao. In addition, it discusses the ways in which prison conditions in Vietnam violate international standards, including the denial of access to religious services as a form of retaliation.
In March 2019, Ms. Bui Thi Kim Phuong, a Hoa Hao Buddhist from Vietnam, prepared to board a flight to the United States for a series of meetings on the deteriorating human rights and religious freedom conditions in Vietnam. Ms. Phuong was stopped by Vietnamese security authorities at Tan Son Nhat airport and forced to return home. Her offense: she is married to Nguyen Bac Truyen, a prominent prisoner of conscience and religious freedom advocate.