» 10/19/2013, 00.00
Buddhists and Christians denounce Hanoi for using law to control religions
Joint document by leaders of major religions in Vietnam , against the limitations to freedom posed by the communist government. The target the 2004 Norm on Religions and the implementation of 2012 Decree. The separation between state and religion is the basis for a democratic country , which must ensure "freedom" and "independence" in religious practice .
Hanoi ( AsiaNews)
- Far from being "legal means" to ensure the religious freedom, the
norms adopted in recent years by the Communist government in matters of worship
have become an instrument of repression , subordination and submission to the
State of the faithful and entire communities. This
is highlighted in a Joint Declaration by Vietnamese Religious Leaders - drawn
up in early October and published by Eglise d'Asie ( EDA ) - which strongly
criticizes the Norm on Religions in force since 2004 and its implementation of Decree
number 92 issued in 2012 . The
text was drawn up and signed by a group formed by Hao Hao Buddhists , Unified Buddhist
Church of Vietnam , members of cadaoismo , Protestant pastors and Catholic
priests . It
is directed to government officials in Hanoi , the Parliament, Vietnamese personalities
at home and abroad , as well as the major international organizations in
defense of human rights.
petitioners through the document - prepared in a timely and rigorous manner -
show how the two norms, far from defending religious freedom, have proved
"tools" in the hands of the state and the Communist Party to control
the faithful and the practice of
worship . A
criticism already expressed on several occasions in the past year by both the
Buddhist movement and by members of the Vietnamese Catholic Church .
the religious leaders the Party and the communist regime consider religion and
spirituality "enemy number one" and still continue to fight it, with
"violence " or with laws and regulations of an administrative and penal
element that can be found in Vietnam , in the laws of 2004 and 2012 in terms of
religious practice .
particular, the latest provisions are binding on the faithful and the community
in terms of legal status, staff , activities, goods and foreign relations . Each
alleged violation is punished by force, as has happened several times in the
recent past to Buddhist organizations or Protestant and Catholic groups, with
arrests, abductions , forced detentions , or defamatory press campaigns (see
the attack in recent weeks on the diocese of Vinh) .
government wants to use the Church and religious organizations as a "tool"
in the service of the regime or to hide the problems and inadequacies that
characterize Vietnamese society . And
also, add religious leaders , to prevent a real liberation of religion from the
state, one of the conditions necessary for the construction of " a true
democratic nation ." The
right to religious freedom is guaranteed by the Constitution , therefore "
special laws " relating to worship as is the case today are not eligible. That
is why, concludes the document , a real "freedom" and
"independence" of activities is needed as well as the opportunity to
evangelize without constraints and restrictions, full ownership of all property
and the "restitution" of illegally seized "material
and spiritual goods ". This
would also include those who have been arrested and sentenced to imprisonment
for fighting " for religious freedom , democracy and human rights."
Vinh: amid threats and attacks, 50 thousand Catholics pray for release of the two parishioners
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Vinh, 7 months jail for two Catholics who fought for religious freedom
Nghe An provincial judges sentence Ngo Van Khoi and Nguyen Van Hai. The bishop and entire diocese fought for their release, drawing authorities’ ire. The family had not been notified of the hearing, which lasted only three hours. A priest speaking anonymously confirms: "They are innocent".
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