Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thich Quang Do nominated for RFK award

A group of prominent dissidents in Vietnam have signed a statement in support of the nomination of Ven. Thich Quang Do for the annual human rights advocacy award of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial. Thich Quang Do, along with Thich Huyen Quang, has led the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) in its protests against religious repression and other human rights violation. The UBCV was essentially banned in 1981 when the government established its own state sponsored Buddhist church for the entire country and demanded that all other Buddhist organizations join this new church.

Signers to the statement included Col. Pham Que Duong, Vu Cao Quan, Dr. Nguyen Dan Que, lawyer Tran Lam, Professor Nguyen Thanh Giang, Catholic priests Fr. Nguyen Huu Giai, Fr. Phan Van Loi, and Fr. Chan Tin; Protestant pastors Rev. Nguyen Hong Quang and Rev. Than Van Truong. In their statement they noted:

"Having been living in Viet Nam, either north or south, and enduring a troublesome period of our history from 1945 until now, we very highly appreciate the most Venerable Thich Quang Do's steadfast stance, compassionate heart and smart vision in struggling for religious freedom and voicing for basic human rights. Myriad obstacles and threats, including decades-long imprisonment, could not deter the most Venerable Thich Quang Do's noble-aspirations for his Buddhist Church and community. Therefore, the most Venerable Thich Quang Do is among Vietnam's most important figures who have inspired enthusiasm, optimism and perseverance for our common cause for a civilized and happy society that tolerates any differences in religion and ideology."

Source: Vietnamese Political and Religious Prisoners Friendship Association.


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