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ICC NOTE: The religious persecution of Christians and other religious minorities has always been present in Vietnam since the first Christians arrived in the 17th century. However, lately reports of these cases have garnered little attention from the international media. Fortunately with the support of ICC’s regional partners and the efforts by like-minded media sources like Christian Examiner, Christian Today, and Christian Post, stories of persecution towards its Christian population is now beginning to surface more and more each day. With President Obama’s visit to Vietnam recently, it has allowed for more of a spotlight to emerge upon the communist country regarding its human rights record. With the lifting of the weapons embargo by the Obama administration, the diplomatic leverage the United States has toward Vietnam presently has been greatly diminished. 

6/24/2016 Vietnam (Christian Examiner) – President Barack Obama had no sooner left Vietnam when government authorities there conducted a brutal crackdown on Christians in the country, International Christian Concern has reported.

According to the international persecution monitor, less than two weeks after the U.S. delegation left the country and President Obama encouraged the government to improve its human rights record, around 30 police and government officials stormed a church on the Vietnam-China border.

ICC reported the arrest and torture of one pastor’s wife and the beating and arrest of a 14-year-old boy. The church’s pastor was also interrogated and police attempted to coerce the pastor into signing a statement that the church was a threat to the local community and national security. The report did not say if the authorities had gained a confession.

In the weeks prior to the raids, the United Nations issued a stinging report on Vietnam’s human rights abuses, in particular against Tran Thi Hong, the wife of a Christian pastor who had been arrested and tortured on multiple occasions. Tran’s husband has been in prison since 2011.