Charisma Caucus

Now It's Vietnam: Nation's Court Sentences Christian Pastor to 15 Years in Prison

Christian church in Huyen Phong Dien, Hue, Vietnam (Garycycles)

The world is becoming increasingly hostile for Christians all over the globe, and the U.N. needs to take action, or else its members need to be penalized.

Recently we told you that U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley sent a stern message to the world's leaders: Work with us to fight terrorism and human rights abuses or lose U.S. tax dollar funding.

For years, the U.S. has sent hundreds of millions in support to countries that have in turn resisted our policy requests and even condemned us. Some countries that have received our aid have also been responsible for willful human rights violations, including attacks on religious liberty.

According to reports, Vietnam is one of three nations who repeatedly refuse to support U.S. policy, yet raked in over $580 million in financial assistance. Vietnam voted against us over 60 percent of the time. Now, they are persecuting their own citizens for their Christian faith.

Additionally, a court in Vietnam has sentenced a Christian pastor and a Christian human rights attorney to 12 and an unprecedented 15 years in prison, respectively, for "anti-state" activities.

The Christian lawyer, Nguyen Van Dai, who has provided legal advice and representation to victims of human rights abuses including religious minorities across Vietnam, received the longest sentence of 15 years in prison and a further five years under house arrest, the U.K.-based group Christian Solidarity Worldwide said in a statement.

Once again, it seems a U.N. member nation has imprisoned Christians for no other crime than living out their faith.

Pastor and activist Nguyen Trung Ton, along with legal expert Nguyen Bac Truyen, were charged with "carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the government." Pastor Trung Ton has advocated for the right to freedom of religion or belief and spoken out against social injustices.

The ACLJ is continually working within the U.N. to defend Christians all around the world from this very persecution, and worse. ISIS has waged genocide against Christians in Iraq and Syria, and we are still asking the U.N. to intervene and assist with aid for victims.

We have repeatedly demanded that the U.N. take action against Pakistan which continues to blindly tolerate violent attacks and even murder against Christians for no other crime but religious differences.

Right now we're working tirelessly to free American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces what amounts to a life sentence for the alleged crime of "Christianization" in Turkey. We're urging the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to intervene for Pastor Andrew in his ongoing wrongful detention before it's too late. We cannot allow what has just happened to this pastor in Vietnam to happen to Pastor Andrew in Turkey. It is a travesty of justice.

Recently the U.S. State Department placed Pakistan on a special watch list in response to the rampant mistreatment of Christians and lack of response from the Pakistani government to protect them. Now, it may be time to do the same with Vietnam. According to the article, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has recommended the U.S. State Department to designate Vietnam as a "country of particular concern" for 16 consecutive years, since 2001, for "systematic, ongoing and egregious violations" of freedom of religion or belief.

We continue to urge the U.N. to protect Christians from violence, persecution and genocide and to intervene when its member nations fail to provide safety and religious liberty for their people. If nations that condone this religious persecution don't feel a moral imperative to change, they should absolutely feel financial repercussions.

For the original article, visit aclj.org.

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