Wednesday, December 01, 2004

"Dega protestantism" denounced

Nguyen Thanh Xuan, deputy head of Vietnam's Committee for Religious Affairs, denounced "dega Protestantism" in an interview with Hanoi's Voice of Vietnam, Nov. 30. Xuan distinguished between "orthodox Protestantism" and "dega Protestantism", describing the former as loyal to the state, and the latter as a source of division and dissent among the Montagnards: "Most dangerously, Protestantism influenced by Dega thought triggers social instability, weakens political security and obstructs social, economic and cultural development in the Central Highlands, causing negative impacts on local inhabitants’ lives because poverty coupling with instability stands in the way of development." According to a recent report of Human Rights Watch, there has been an increased crackdown on independent (non-registered) religious groups living in Vietnam, particularly among ethnic minorities. (Voice of Vietnam, Nov. 30; Human Rights Watch report, Oct. 22).


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