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Vietnam criticised for restrictions on religion

In its review of the year 2003, Freedom House, a US-based human and religious rights organization, made strong accusations against the government in Hanoi. It cited a series of persecutions carried out by local authorities toward Hmong Christians.

The report from PIME also carries coverage of the case of the Buddhist monk who immolated himself in the United States a few days ago in protest at the persecution in Vietnamů

Criticism of the Hanoi government also comes for the Buddhist world, sometimes in a dramatic way. On Dec. 24 Thich Chan Hy, a 74 year-old Buddhist monk, set himself on fire in front of a Buddhist temple in Charlotte, North Carolina. The monk, who had spent many years in a prison camp in Vietnam, came to the United States in 1991. In a letter made public by the International Office of Buddhist Information, he explained himself: "I hope that Vietnam can enjoy freedom of religion and belief. I hope it can open itself to human rights and democracy. I feel so helpless and inadequate; I therefore make the offering of my body, and pray that the my appeal will be heard."


5 Jan 2004