Flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
“All men will hate you because of me….” -Matthew 10:22
Along with the persecution of Christians in Muslim countries, here’s a reminder that Christians continue to be persecuted in so-called communist countries — in this case, Vietnam.
Michael Benge — who spent 11 years in Vietnam as a Foreign Service Officer and 5 years as POW — writes in The American Thinker, June 12, 2011:
[T]he brutal communist [Vietnam] regime may have outdone itself with last month’s reported slaughter of over 75 ethnic Hmong Christians. Hundreds more were wounded and/or arrested and taken to undisclosed locations.
An estimated 9,000 Hmong, mainly Catholics and Protestant Christians, gathered in the Muong Nhe district in North Vietnam’s Dien Bien province on May 1 to honor the beatification of Pope John Paul II…who had opposed both fascist Nazis forces and communist totalitarianism….
The religious services honoring the pope evolved into peaceful protests by Hmong seeking religious freedom and the cessation of human rights abuses, institutional corruption, social injustice, and land-grabbing….
As was the case during similar protests by Montagnard Christians in 2001 in the Central Highlands, and in true fascist form, communist officials overreacted by deploying thousands of troops, special police, and MI-24 “Hind” helicopter gunships. All outside communication was shut down, the electricity was cut off, the province was cordoned off to prevent anyone from entering or leaving, and all news media and foreigners were banned from the area. Some Hmong demonstrators were able to escape into the nearby mountains, where they were hunted by heliborne “Dac Cong” Special Forces units. Some of the fleeing Hmong are reported to have been summarily executed when caught. At least two Hmong mountain villages and several enclaves suspected of harboring fleeing protesters were attacked by the gunships armed with rockets, cannons, and Gatling guns. It is not known how many were killed or wounded.
[…] Article 70 of the 1992 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam provides that “the citizen shall enjoy freedom of belief and religion; he can follow any religion or follow none. All religions are equal before the law. The places of worship of all faiths and religions are protected by the law. No one can violate freedom of belief and of religion.”
However, Article 70 contains this caveat: “nor can anyone misuse beliefs and religions to contravene the law, and State policies.”
The laws cited above are full of ambiguities and contradictions and provide no criteria as to what is considered “misuse,” but they fundamentally state that all religions, religious denominations, churches, clergy, and religious activities must be approved by the central government in order to be legal. Ethnic minority Christians are regularly harassed, beaten, and tortured in attempts by communist officials to force them to renounce their beliefs in God. The Vietnamese government is now proposing amendments to the already harsh existing laws that will further restrict freedom of worship and all church-related activities.
[…] Anyone who participates in unauthorized religious activities, including outdoor prayer services, protests, or demonstrations, is guilty of “undermining Vietnam’s national unity,” a crime that carries a prison sentence of ten years or more. Even if the Hmong Christians had not held peaceful protests, the mere fact that they conducted open-air prayer services to honor the beatification of Pope John Paul II makes them subject to arrest and imprisonment.
[…] The State Department will no doubt mention the persecuted Hmong Christians in its Annual Report on Human Rights. Yet State has continually refused to do anything that might be deemed punitive, such as designating Vietnam as a Country of Particular Concern regarding religious persecution, which might upset the delicate feelings of the communist regime. Needless to say, President Obama seems oblivious to the ongoing religious persecution and human rights abuses.
Read the rest of Benge’s article, here.
The Left, under whatever guise, hate Christ and Christians. One has to ask what is about Christ that engenders such murderous hatred.
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” -John 15:18
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