Loading
Release Fr. Ly immediately, US religious freedom commission urges Vietnam
Leonard Leo and Fr. Nguyen Van Ly
Leonard Leo and Fr. Nguyen Van Ly
By Kevin J. Jones
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has condemned the Vietnamese government’s latest arrest of religious freedom advocate Fr. Nguyen Van Ly.

“Father Ly should be immediately and unconditionally released,” said commission chair Leonard Leo. He characterized Fr. Ly as a “frail” priest who has “peacefully advocated for the fundamental right to freedom of religion.”

Vietnamese officials seized him “without any warning” and despite his caretakers’ statements that he is not well enough to travel, Leo said.

Fr. Ly, 63, is under treatment for several strokes and an apparent brain tumor. Since March 2010 he has been on medical parole. In May 2007 he was sentenced to eight years in prison and five years of house arrest on charges of spreading anti-communist propaganda.

The priest is known for his peaceful protest of the communist state and its human rights violations. He is a founding member of Bloc 8406, the first well-organized pro-democracy group in his country, where many Catholics suffer because of communism.

Authorities re-arrested Fr. Ly at a home for retired priests on July 25.

The religious freedom commission, an independent bipartisan entity of the U.S. government, called the priest “one of Vietnam’s most prominent advocates for religious freedom and related human rights.”

Leo charged that Vietnam ignored the United States’ concerns about the priest’s treatment. He said it is time for the Obama administration to re-designate Vietnam as a Country of Particular Concern, a designation which highlights “particularly severe violations of religious freedom,” in commission recommendations to the State Department.

The designation would help produce “tangible” religious freedom improvements and help signal that the United States sides with the peaceful advocates of human freedom, Leo said.

Fr. Ly was imprisoned in 2001 after he submitted testimony to the U.S. religious freedom commission and released in 2005 after Vietnam was designated as a Country of Particular Concern. In 2007 he was re-arrested shortly after the Bush administration lifted the designation.

In January the U.S. State Department lodged a sharp protest with the Vietnamese government after police beat U.S. diplomat Christian Marchant when he attempted to visit Fr. Ly, then under house arrest.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
21

Liturgical Calendar

October 21, 2014

Tuesday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:35-38

Gospel
Date
10/21/14
10/20/14
10/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 2: 12-22
Gospel:: Lk 12: 35-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/21/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:35-38

Homily
Date
10/21/14
10/20/14
10/19/14