40 NGOs call upon Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about freedom of religion in Vietnam

Sezione:
Mike Pompeo

On march 27, 40 NGOs have signed a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking him to urgently act to support religious freedom in Vietnam.


March 27, 2020

The Honorable Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Pompeo,
We, representatives of concerned multi-faith organizations and individuals, write to urge your Department to publicly and privately call on the Vietnamese government to:

  • Allow all independent religious organizations to freely conduct religious activities and independently govern themselves. Churches and denominations that do not choose to join one of the officially authorized religious organizations with government-sanctioned boards should be allowed to operate independently.
  • End harassment, arrests, persecution, imprisonment, and ill treatment of followers of independent religions, and release those detained for peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of religion, belief, expression, assembly, and association.
  • Ensure that all domestic legislation addressing religious affairs is brought into conformity with international human rights law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); amend provisions in domestic law that impinge on freedom of religion and belief, expression, association, or peaceful assembly in violation of the ICCPR.

Vietnam prescribes a multistage process for a religious organization to receive recognition. Under a new law, an independent religious organization must obtain a certificate of registration for religious activities from the provincial-level Committee of Religious Affairs. The new law prohibits sowing division among “the national great unity, harm state defense, national security, public order, and social morale.” This “national unity” catchphrase has been the basis for the suppression and harassment of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam and many other independent religions.

In this new law, under article 32, candidates for religious appointments must “have the spirit of national unity and harmony” while under article 37 religious education must include “Vietnamese history and Vietnamese law” as core subjects.
Without freedom of religion for those religions independent from the government, there is no true freedom of religion. Systematic, ongoing, egregious suppression of religious freedom warrants the designation of a country of particular concern. Therefore, we support USCIRF’s call to place Vietnam back on the CPC list under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998.
Sincerely,

ORGANIZATIONS:

UNIFIED BUDDHIST CHURCH OF VIETNAM
INTERFAITH COUNCIL OF VIETNAM
CHURCH OF PROTESTANT LUTHERAN COMMUNITY OF VIETNAM
ARCHBISHOP NGUYEN KIM DIEN ASSOCIATION
FEDERATION OF VIETNAMESE NATIONALS
TRADITIONAL HOA HAO BUDDHIST CHURCH
SANGHA OF UNIFIED BUDDHIST CHURCH OF VIETNAM
REPRESENTATIVE COMMITTEE OF THE POPULAR BLOC OF CAO DAI CHURCH
INSTITUTE FOR THE DISSEMINATION OF THE DHARMA
INDEPENDENT OLD CATHOLIC CHURCH
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY NATIONAL AFFAIRS OFFICE
JUBILEE CAMPAIGN USA INC
LOTUS BUDDHIST CONGREGATION
BOAT PEOPLE SOS - RELIGIOUS FREEDOM PROJECT
COMMITTEE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN VIETNAM
MONTAGNARD EVANGELICAL CHURCH OF CHRIST
VIETNAM COALITION AGAINST TORTURE (VN-CAT)
ASSOCIATION OF CON DAU PARISHIONERS
MINH VAN FOUNDATION
BUDDHIST CHURCH OF AMERICA
VIETNAMESE WOMEN FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
VIETNAMESE AMERICAN UNIFIED BUDDHIST CHURCH
ALLIANCE FOR AN INDEPENDENT AND DEMOCRATIC VIETNAM
VIETNAMESE AMERICANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
VIETNAM DEMOCRACY CENTER
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR VIETNAM
TRAN NHAN TONG FELLOWSHIP
UYGHUR HUMAN RIGHTS PROJECT
FEDERATION OF VIETNAMESE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES OF THE USA
VIETNAMESE AMERICAN COMMUNITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
UNITED COUNCIL OF VIETNAMESE IN HOMELAND AND OVERSEAS
WORLD VIETNAMESE BUDDHIST ORDER
UNITED MACEDONIAN DIASPORA
CENTER FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES (UKRAINE)
BUREAU DE LIAISON DES ASSOCIATIONS ET DES VIETNAMIENS LIBRES EN FRANCE
HAPPY SCIENCE WASHINGTON BUREAU
ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF IN VIETNAM
INDIAN AMERICAN MUSLIM COUNCIL
INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN

INDIVIDUALS:

Rev. Joseph K. Grieboski
Director, Office of Ecumenical, Interfaith, and Global Engagement
Diocese of the Eastern USA
INDEPENDENT OLD CATHOLIC CHURCH
 
Scott Morgan
President
RED EAGLE ENTERPRISES
 
Dr. Mike Ghouse
President
CENTER FOR PLURALISM
 
Peggy Nienaber
Vice President
FAITH & LIBERTY

Rev. Susan Taylor
National Public Affairs Director
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY NATIONAL AFFAIRS OFFICE

Ann Buwalda,
Executive Director
JUBILEE CAMPAIGN USA INC
 
Dr. Jianli Yang
Founder and President
CITIZEN POWER INITIATIVES FOR CHINA
 
Most Ven. Thich Huyen Viet
President, Second Office
INSTITUTE FOR THE DISSEMINATION OF THE DHARMA
 
Ven. Thich Vien Giao
Abbot
HONG AN BUDDHIST TEMPLE (DES MOINES, IA)
 
Sub-dignitary Hua Phi
Chair
REPRESENTATIVE COMMITTEE OF THE POPULAR BLOC OF CAO DAI CHURCH
Co-chair
INTERFAITH COUNCIL OF VIETNAM
 
Pastor Nguyen Hoang Hoa
President
CHURCH OF PROTESTANT LUTHERAN COMMUNITY OF VIETNAM
Co-chair
INTERFAITH COUNCIL OF VIETNAM
 
Fr. Nguyen Huu Giai
ARCHBISHOP NGUYEN KIM DIEN ASSOCIATION
 
Fr. Nguyen Van Ly
FEDERATION OF VIETNAMESE NATIONALS
Co-chair
INTERFAITH COUNCIL OF VIETNAM
 
Le Van Soc
Vice President, Central Leadership Committee
TRADITIONAL HOA HAO BUDDHIST CHURCH
Co-chair
INTERFAITH COUNCIL OF VIETNAM
 
Le Quang Hien
General Secretary, Central Leadership Committee
TRADITIONAL HOA HAO BUDDHIST CHURCH
 
Most Ven. Thich Khong Tanh
Vice President
SANGHA OF UNIFIED BUDDHIST CHURCH OF VIETNAM
Co-chair
INTERFAITH COUNCIL OF VIETNAM
 
Dr. Do Van Hoi
Director
INTERFAITH COUNCIL OF VIETNAM
 
Thierry Valle
COORDINATION DES ASSOCIATIONS ET DES PARTICULIERS POUR LA LIBERTÉ DE CONSCIENCE
 
Phan Van Huy Tam
Leader
BUDDHIST YOUTH ORGANIZATION OF BINH THUAN PROVINCE, VIETNAM
 
Truong Thanh
Head of Family
BUDDHIST YOUTH ORGANIZATION OF BA RIA – VUNG TAU PROVINCE, VIETNAM
 
Hoang Phuoc
Director of Youth
VIETNAMESE AMERICAN UNIFIED BUDDHIST CHURCH
 
Dr. Doan Viet Hoat
Chairman
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR VIETNAM
 
Tran Thi Thuc
Director
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR VIETNAM
 
Dr. Ngo Thi Quynh Lam
Acting Chair
BUDDHIST YOUTH ORGANIZATION OF AMERICA
 
Tran Quang Phuoc
BUDDHIST SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION
 
Loan Vo
BUDDHIST SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION
 
Thien Nguyen
BUDDHIST SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION
 
Minh-Loi Nguyen
BUDDHIST SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION
 
Phan Viet Quoc
Leader
VAN HANH BUDDHIST YOUTH ORGANIZATION (SEATTLE, WA)
 
Prof. Tran Gia Phung
Historian
 
Nguyen Kien
Founder
TRAN NHAN TONG FELLOWSHIP
 
Dr. Quoc-Hung Tran
Unit Leader
TU BI BUDDHIST YOUTH ORGANIZATION (ARLINGTON, TX)
 
Chau Ngoc Thach
Head of Family
LA HAU LA BUDDHIST YOUTH ORGANIZATION (SPOKANE, WA)
 
Omer Kanat
Executive Director
UYGHUR HUMAN RIGHTS PROJECT

Peter Kovach
Former Director
OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

Prof. Phan Thong Hung
President
FEDERATION OF VIETNAMESE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES OF THE USA

Dr. Nguyen Van Nghi
VIETNAMESE AMERICAN COMMUNITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

Nguyen Van Thanh
VIETNAMESE AMERICAN COMMUNITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

Tran Hien
INTERFAITH COUNCIL (HOUSTON, TX)

Sister Thich Nu Chuc Thanh
Assistant Director, Executive Committee
VIETNAMESE AMERICAN UNIFIED BUDDHIST CHURCH

Dr. Vo Dinh Huu
President
UNITED COUNCIL OF VIETNAMESE IN HOMELAND AND OVERSEAS

Nguyen Van Tanh
FEDERATION OF VIETNAMESE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES OF THE USA

Luu Van Tuoi
FEDERATION OF VIETNAMESE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES OF THE USA

Vu Van Thai
General Secretary
WORLD VIETNAMESE BUDDHIST ORDER

Tran Hinh
Leader
BUDDHIST YOUTH ORGANIZATION OF AMERICA
 
Truong Kim Anh
Leader
BUDDHIST YOUTH ORGANIZATION OF AMERICA
 
Ton Tien
Director, Board of Directors
BUDDHIST YOUTH ORGANIZATION OF AMERICA

Willy Fautré
HUMAN RIGHTS WITHOUT FRONTIERS

Satoshi Nishihata
Washington Bureau Chief
HAPPY SCIENCE USA

Dr. Fabong Jemchang Yildam
Chairman, Forum of State Chairmen
NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL OF NIGERIA
 
Linh Nguyen, JD
Director, Office of International Relations
UNIFIED BUDDHIST CHURCH OF VIETNAM