VIETNAM: At a Crossroads, 10 Years after CPC Designation

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the 10th anniversary of the State Department’s removal of Vietnam’s designation as a “country of particular concern” (or CPC), the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) sees a country that has made progress but still has a long way to go before it fully respects religious freedom. USCIRF also watches with concern as the Vietnamese National Assembly is poised to vote on a new law governing religion.

“Vietnam is at a crossroads,” explains USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J. “Its government needs to stop oppressing believers and enact legislation that respects religious freedom. If it does not, USCIRF will have to continue calling for its designation as a country of particular concern.”

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Vatican continues talks with Vietnam

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A Vietnamese Delegation to the Vatican has concluded its visit and there are postivie outcomes. The two sides acknowledged the progress in Vietnam – Holy See relations, including regular contacts and consultations, the exchange of high level delegations and frequent pastoral visits to Vietnam by the papal representative and non-resident special envoy, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli.

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Bangladesh: Religious leaders vow to fight extremism with harmony

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Leaders of four major religions have vowed to unite and promote religious harmony as part of efforts to combat a sharp rise in religious extremism and militancy in Bangladesh. The pledge came at an interfaith conference organized by Bangladesh police in Dhaka on April 28. The gathering brought together about 1,500 people, mostly leaders from Muslim, Hindu, Christian and Buddhist communities.

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