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( – Vietnam ‘s prime minister is visiting the U.S. this week. He met with President Bush yesterday, and while relations between the two countries may be improving, the situation for Christians in Vietnam continues to decline. This week’s visit by Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, the first by a Vietnamese Prime Minister since the end of the war in 1975, comes as the U.S. and Vietnam are forging closer economic ties. But not everyone is convinced that the Vietnamese government has changed its stripes. Ann Buwalda, Director of the Jubilee Campaign, said, “We are hopeful that President Bush will take a strong stance and say, ‘first you improve your human rights, and then we can talk trade.'” Hundreds of Vietnamese Christians are currently in prison for practicing their faith. The vast majority are Montagnards, ethnic minorities from Vietnam ‘s northern and central highlands. But Mennonites, Roman Catholics, and even Buddhists are also persecuted by Vietnam ‘s communist regime.

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