Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Religious persecution questioned

Reports of widespread religious persecution in Vietnam are exaggerated, says Matt Steinglass, a Boston Globe correspondent writing from Hanoi. He notes that churches in the country are filled with worshippers, and says that religious leaders and Montagnard Christians in jail or under house arrest are punished more for their perceived political threat to the regime than their religious practices. The U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom this year recommended that Vietnam be labeled as a "Country of Particular Concern" for its poor religious policy. Under the International Religious Freedom Act, Vietnam has until March 15 to demonstrate its progress. If it does not do so, than Pres. Bush is required to impose at least one of 15 possible sanctions, ranging from restricting humanitarian aid to cutting off Export-Import Bank credits. U.S. business interests oppose such sanctions, as would probably the Pentagon, since it has been cooperating with the Vietnamese military in recent years. (Boston Globe, Feb. 13).


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home