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ICC Note

In Vietnam, Pastor Chinh has been wrongfully imprisoned since 2011. During his imprisonment, he has experienced extreme torture for his faith. Recently, Vietnam officials have been accused of making false accusations of Pastor’s Chinh wife, claiming she has been unfaithful to him while he has been in prison. Authorities are attempting their last efforts to break Pastor Chinh of his faith. Vietnam ranks as number 17, in terms of the intensity of the persecution Christians experience, on Open Doors 2017 World Watch List. Nevertheless, there are many active efforts from the Pastor Chinh’s wife, the United States, and religious freedom activists all over the world to exonerate Pastor Chinh.

06/07/2017 Vietnam (The Christian Post) – Government officials in Vietnam have been accused of lying to an imprisoned Christian pastor by telling him that his wife has been unfaithful with another man.

Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh, who is an outspoken pastor and democracy activist, is a prisoner of conscience who is currently serving an 11-year sentence after he was arrested in 2011 and accused of colluding with a resistance group known as FULRO. He was charged with violating Article 87 of Vietnam’s penal code.

Chinh’s wife, Tran Thi Hong, recently revealed in an interview with the Asia-based Catholic news outlet ucanews.com that she recently went to visit her husband at Xuan Loc Prison in Vietnam’s Dong Nai province and was told that security officials told her husband that she has been engaging in an extramarital affair.

“I was shocked when my husband said on May 11 that public security officials from Hanoi came to the camp and told him that I had been unfaithful,” Hong said. “The officials asked him ‘don’t you know anything about your wife?’ and said ‘she is committing adultery with a man.'”

Hong contended that what the security officials told her husband was nothing but lies.

“The communist government maliciously lied to separate our family and force my husband to accept his crimes as a condition for his freedom,” Hong asserted.

Hong said that she also assured her husband that “we are God’s children and we must trust each other.”

“If you believe their vicious slander, you will fall into their trap,” she recalled telling her husband. “Be brave. People are working hard for you to be freed soon.”

Hong added that the lie is just one of the many ways her husband has been mistreated in prison over the last six years.

She and her kids were able to talk with Hong for about 45 minutes during their visit at the prison. In her interview with ucanews.com, she expressed concern with her husband’s high blood pressure.

“I gave him food and medicine but the guards took his medicine and will only give it to him at irregular intervals,” she said.

Hong also stated that her husband “did not commit any crime.”

“He is a victim of religious persecution. As a pastor, he only fought for the free religious practice of Christians from ethnic minority groups in the central highlands,” she explained.

In 2014, Chinh issued a written complaint detailing occasions in which he was beaten and abused by prison guards, according to the Campaign to Abolish Torture in Vietnam.

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