Vietnam Continues to Suppress Religion: US Congressional Testimony

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Religious leaders and activists, testifying before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. Congress on March 26, told of numerous attempts by the Vietnamese government to persecute the communities of faith that do not accept government controls.

The hearing, streamed live on the Internet and chaired by Congressman Frank Wolf, led with the testimony of Eric P. Schwartz, a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, who told the commission that the “Vietnamese government exerts control over religious activities through law and administrative oversight, severely restricts independent religious practice, and represses individuals and religious groups it views as challenging its authority.”

Vietnam has “a specialized religious police force,” Schwartz testified, and uses “vague national security laws to suppress independent Buddhist, Protestant, Hoa Hao, and Cao Dai activities and has sought to stop the growth of the Protestant and Catholic religions among ethnic minorities.” Read more here.