We use our own and third party cookies to improve your user experience; by continuing to browse, we understand that you accept their use. You can get more information on our cookies policy.

Rome Reports

You are using an outdated browser

In order to deliver the greatest experience to our visitors we use cutting edge web development techniques that require a modern browser. To view this page please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer 11 or greater

U.S. government-commissioned entity seeks to free prisoners of conscience in Vietnam

In 2004, the U.S. State Department designated Vietnam as a Country of Particular Concern, or CPC. Small improvements in religious freedom conditions prompted the government to lift this designation in 2006. 

Now, an alarming rise in the number of prisoners of conscience is prompting the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom, USCIRF, to urge the government to put Vietnam back on the list.

Vice Chair, USCIRF
“Religion in Vietnam remains heavily regulated under the Law on Belief and Religion, which went into effect in January 2018. While the law did introduce some positive changes, such as recognizing religious organizations as legal persons, it also requires religious groups to register with the government.”

This same law has also been used by Vietnamese authorities to crack down on religious ceremonies. It's part of the government's wider attempt to subdue human rights defenders, even those who advocate peacefully, like Nguyen Bac Truyen and Pastor A Dao.

Vice Chair, USCIRF
“Mr. Truyen is a Hoa Hao Buddhist who advocated on behalf of religious communities and prisoners of conscience. In April 2018, he was sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment. Pastor A Dao led an unregistered church for Montagnard Christians. He was arrested and sentenced to five years' imprisonment.”

Now USCIRF is actively working to obtain both men's liberation.

Vice Chair, USCIRF
“In the meantime, we urge the government to allow U.S. diplomats to visit them in prison, to ensure that they are being well-treated and that their medical needs are being met.”

According to the annual report, Protestants and An Dan Dai Dao Buddhists make up the highest percentage of prisoners of conscience in Vietnam, followed by Hoa Hao Buddhists and Catholics. Regardless of individual religious beliefs, USCIRF continues to support those whose fundamental freedoms have been violated.