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The Washington , DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern has received reports that the Vietnamese government recently burned more than ten homes of tribal Christians in Suoi Rut hamlet, Doi Sau village, Quang Ngai province. The affected families were forced to flee their village on July 21, 2005, and are now searching for a new area to reside in.

The homes of ten Hre tribal Christians were destroyed because they refused to deny their faith. The victims belonged to the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (ECVN), which has formal recognition by Vietnamese government. The local Communist authorities of Son Thuong village, Quang Ngai province have publicly stated that “the Christian religion is America ’s religion, and is not allowed here.”

The following is a statement from a pastor of the Hre tribe:

“On Sunday, August 21, 2005 at 8:00 A.M., Mr. Dinh van Hoanh, police chief of Son Thuong village and his assistant, Mr. Thai Mai Quan, came to Mr. Dinh van Hoang’s house and said: ‘We do not allow any Christians to live here. If you want to stay you must sign this paper to declare that you and your family are renouncing your faith’.

Mr. Hoang refused to do so. The police chief then called numerous officials, including Mr. Dinh van Xoa, hamlet chief, and Mr. Dinh van Hoach, his assistant, to come and destroy Hoang’s house.

They then told Mr. Hoang that if he recanted his faith, they would rebuild his house. Mr. Hoang again refused, and the authorities then destroyed his animal pens.”

Vietnam was named a Country of Particular Concern (CPC – meaning they are one of the world’s worst violators of human rights) by the US State Department last year. Once a country is named a CPC, the State Department is then supposed to issue penalties or benchmarks of improvement within six months.

The State Department failed to issue benchmarks or penalties against the Vietnamese government this past spring due to political pressures and assurances from the Vietnamese government that this type of behavior would cease. Unfortunately, the persecution of tribal Christians has brazenly continued with no discernable change in tenor or volume.

ICC strongly recommends that concerned individuals contact their congressional representatives. To find your elected representatives, you can go to the following web sites:

http://www.senate.gov/ http://www.house.gov/

Individuals should also contact the Vietnamese embassy to voice their opinions of that country’s treatment of its Christian citizens.

Embassy of Vietnam
1233 20th St. NW, Suite 400
Washington , DC 20036

Phone: 202-861-0737
Fax: 202-861-0917

info@vietnamembassy.usa.org