The rest of the entire world has turned a blind eye to how the Vietnamese government treats its citizens purely because of monetary reasons. Many corporations from the USA and from Western Europe have invested there in order to obtain cheap labor. The lack of religious freedom within Vietnam is not looked at as a major problem as corporations continue to outsource there on the cheap. Well, one organizations has decided not to look the other way. Check out this press release from the International Christian Concern (ICC) in regards to this matter. For further information, you can check out their website at www.persecution.org.
Washington, D.C. (September 23, 2011) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a report by the US government has once again refused to acknowledge the deteriorating religious freedoms of the Vietnamese. Unfortunately, for the fifth consecutive year, the State Department has ignored the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) recommendation that Vietnam, a communist-ruled nation, be re-designated as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for its severe violations of religious freedoms. Since the designation was lifted in 2006, ICC sources claim that attacks against Christians have drastically increased.
For decades, the Vietnamese have been denied the freedom to worship openly and live free of the fear of persecution for their faith. Christians have especially been targeted by the Vietnamese military and police, and have been victims of violent attacks, kidnappings, forced labor, grueling torture, and even murder. The government’s blatant violations of human rights and religious freedoms earned Vietnam the designation of a CPC in 2004 and 2005. During these years, Vietnam made significant strides towards improving the religious freedoms of its citizens, and sources cite diminished occurrences of persecution. Because of these improvements, the Bush administration lifted the designation in 2006. Unfortunately, the decision was premature, as religious freedoms had not been firmly established in Vietnam and were often considered a farce to please international watchdogs.
Since the lifting of the designation, ICC sources on the ground have confirmed that the persecution of minority groups, especially of Christians who are a part of underground house churches, has risen dramatically. “It is a failure of the Obama administration to allow Vietnam to escape designation as a CPC, as the regime’s violations of religious freedoms have been clearly documented, especially its blatant persecution of minority indigenous Christians such as the Montagnards and Hmong. Though this communist regime gives lip-service to upholding the religious freedom of its citizens, in reality they systematically oppress religious groups consistently and openly,”
said Kris Elliott, ICC’s Advocacy Officer and Regional Manager for Southeastern Asia.
Though the current CPC designations are indicative of the Obama administration’s commitment to religious freedom worldwide, ICC calls President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Suzan Johnson Cook to designate Vietnam as a CPC, implement USCIRF’s policy recommendations, and give greater priority to religious freedom in all its diplomatic dealings with nations that are CPCs or on USCIRF’s watch list.