USCIRF Encourages Vietnam’s Religious Freedom Progress
09/16/2020 Vietnam (International Christian Concern) – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) issued a press release on September 3rd calling on Vietnam’s government to improve religious freedom. USCIRF also noted and encouraged progress towards human rights, specifically religious freedom.
USCIRF welcomed their continued efforts to help Hmong Christians in Dam Rong District resettle after a long period of religious discrimination. Commissioner James Carr stated,
“In January 2020, the government of Dam Rong District in Lam Dong Province announced plans to resettle 79 Hmong Christian households, —521 residents—in Subdivision 179 who had been evicted from their villages. The plans include $3.3 million in funding and infrastructure construction, including roads and a medical clinic.”
Although this builds momentum for similar groups, the Commission remained deeply concerned about the harassment of unregistered religious groups and religious freedom advocates.
They asked Vietnam to address the religious discrimination that led to these communities’ displacement. The Commission urged the authorities “to release all individuals detained because of the peaceful expression of their beliefs, including religious freedom fighter Nguyen Bac Truyen and Protestant pastor A Dao.”
Commissioner Carr also asked the U.S. government to increase funding for religious freedom projects in Vietnam, with a targeted implementation of 2021 or 2022.
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