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Holy See Takes Up Issue of Church Property in Vietnam
Delegation Returns From Weeklong Trip

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 17, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See revisited the issue of Vietnam's nationalization of Church property, affirming that a solution to the situation needs to take into account the requirements of justice, charity and the common good.

This was one of the topics discussed by a Holy See delegation who visited Vietnam last week. The delegation was made up of Monsignor Pietro Parolin undersecretary for relations with states; Monsignor Luis Mariano Montemayor, nunciature-counselor at the secretariat of state; and Monsignor Barnabe Nguyen Van Phuong, bureau chief at the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
Posted on 20 Jun 2008
UBCV Patriarch Thich Huyen Quang is in hospital in Binh Dinh
2008-05-31 | | IBIB

PARIS, 31 May 2008 (IBIB) - The International Budhist Information Bureau is informed that the Supreme Patriarch of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) Thich Huyen Quang is seriously ill. He was admitted to the General Hospital in Quy Nhon on 27th May suffering from breathing problems due to a heart condition. The 89 year old Patriarch is reportedly very weak.

Hearing that the Patriarch was in hospital, on 28th May, UBCV Deputy leader Thich Quang Do and a delegation of 8 senior UBCV monks took the train from Saigon to Binh Dinh to visit him. Security Police at the train station filmed the monks’ departure, but made no attempt to intervene. This is the first time that Thich Quang Do has been able to visit the Patriarch without being intercepted by Police. Thich Quang Do is still in Binh Dinh, and has visited Thich Huyen Quang in hospital every day.
Posted on 20 Jun 2008
Security Police intensify harassment of UBCV monks in Lam Dong - UBCV monk Thich Tri Khai is still missing

2008-05-28 | | IBIB

PARIS, 28 May 2008 (IBIB) - The International Budhist Information Bureau has received an urgent appeal from the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) following serious harassments and intimidation by Security Police against UBCV monks in Lam Dong Province.

On Tuesday (27.5.2008), Security Police surrounded the Su Tu Hong Pagoda in Duc Trong District, Lam Dong, where UBCV monk Thich Tam Man is Superior monk. Interrupting the morning prayers, the Police banged on the door, shouted loudly and tried to force their way into the Pagoda. Thich Tam Man, Vice-President of the UBCV's Lam Dong Representative Board, was obliged to cease prayers and came to the door. The Police immediately seized him, dragged him bodily into a vehicle and took him to the Police station. He was subjected to aggressive questioning throughout the whole day, and was allowed no food. Thich Tam Man was taken back to his pagoda in the evening, but Police have summoned him for further interrogations today (Wednesday 28.5.2008). The UBCV says that Security Police are using harassments, intimidation and psychological pressure to terrorize and demoralize Thich Tam Man and make him cease all contact with the outlawed UBCV.
Posted on 20 Jun 2008
As Vietnam hosts the UN Day of the Vesak in Hanoi, UBCV monk Thich Tri Khai is arrested - In Vesak Messages, Patriarch Thich Huyen Quang and Thich Quang Do urge Buddhists to stand up for human rights

2008-05-13 | | IBIB

PARIS, 13 May 2008 (IBIB) - The International Budhist Information Bureau is deeply concerned by the disappearance and likely arrest of Buddhist monk Thich Tri Khai, Superior monk of Giac Hai Pagoda in Lam Dong province and member of the outlawed Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV).

After Security Police broke the locks of Giac Hai Pagoda on 29.4.2008 and seized the Pagoda for State-sponsored Vesak celebrations, they locked Thich Tri Khai in a room and placed the pagoda under State control. On 7.5.2008, Thich Tri Khai disappeared. Security Police said he had gone to Saigon for medical treatment, but he has never been seen since. His cell phone has been cut, and his followers have lost all contact with him. "With this disappearance, Vietnam has descended to a new level of baseness. To avoid international outcry, it is deviously kidnapping Buddhist monks without a modicum of respect for a due process of law", declared IBIB Director Vo Van Ai.

Posted on 19 May 2008
International personalities call on Hanoi to cease religious repression and release Thich Huyen Quang, Thich Quang Do on UN Day of the Vesak in Hanoi

2008-05-09 | | Vietnam Committee

PARIS, 9 May 2008 (VIETNAM COMMITTEE) - Forty-nine prominent international personalities including a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, religious leaders from different faiths, Members of the European Parliament, the US Congress, Senators and MPs from Italy, France and the UK launched a joint appeal to the Vietnamese leadership on the occasion of the United Nations Day of the Vesak (Birth, Enlightenment and Passing away of the Buddha) in Hanoi (13-17 May) to cease repression against the banned Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) and immediately release its Supreme Patriarch Thich Huyen Quang and his Deputy Thich Quang Do.

In a letter to Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and other state leaders, the signatories expressed concern at the stark contrast between the grandiose celebration of Buddhism's most sacred festival and the renewed intensity of State repression gainst Buddhists in Vietnam. "We are deeply disturbed by recent reports of grave repression against Buddhism, the very faith you claim to celebrate", they wrote, noting that "in the run-up to the Vesak, Police have seized UBCV pagodas to use for State-sponsored events, evicted and harassed UBCV monks, nuns and lay-followers in Lam Dong, Hue, Quang Tri…". Only the State-sponsored Buddhist Sangha would be hosting the ceremonies, whilst UBCV leaders "are prisoners in their own pagodas".

Posted on 19 May 2008
Security Police harass UBCV Patriarch Thich Huyen Quang - Giac Hai Pagoda is seized by the State – Thich Tri Khai is missing

2008-05-08 | | IBIB

PARIS, 8 May 2008 (IBIB) - The International Buddhist Information Bureau (IBIB) has received a Report from Venerable Thich Dong Tho, personal assistant of Patriarch Thich Huyen Quang of the banned Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV), describing an incident of Police harassment against the UBCV Patriarch at the Nguyen Thieu Monastery in Binh Dinh where he is under house arrest.

In his report, written 3rd May, Thich Dong Tho said that the Deputy Head of the Tuy Phuoc district Security Police named Nhan, burst into Nguyen Thieu Pagoda at 4pm on 1st May. "He was obviously drunk. His speech was slurred, he staggered and his face was red", wrote Thich Dong Tho. Ignoring the notice on the Monastery's door that visitors can only meet the elderly UBCV Patriarch on appointment, he accosted Thich Huyen Quang, who was sitting reading in the courtyard. Bending rudely over the Patriarch, he snatched the documents out of his hand. Finding that they were IBIB Press Releases on the eviction of UBCV Thich Tri Khai in Lam Dong Province, the Security official angrily summoned Thich Huyen Quang to reveal how he had obtained them. He then took out his mobile phone to film Thich Huyen Quang together with the documents. He continued for some time to loudly threaten and accuse the Patriarch of possessing "illegal" documents and being in contact with the UBCV, an organization that "does not exist" in Vietnam. However, Thich Huyen Quang remained perfectly calm, only addressing the Security agent to ask: "Can you show me any law that prohibits the UBCV ?"

Posted on 19 May 2008
Following the human tragedy in Burma caused by Cyclone Nargis: Buddhist dissident Thich Quang Do sends solidarity message to Aung San Suu Kyi

2008-05-07 | | IBIB

PARIS, 7 May 2008 (IBIB) - The International Buddhist Information Bureau (IBIB) has received a Message today from the Most Venerable Thich Quang Do, Deputy leader of the outlawed Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the Buddhist monks and people of Burma. Sent clandestinely from Thanh Minh Zen Monastery in Saigon, the message expresses the UBCV's condolences and solidarity with the Burmese people in the wake of the devastating cyclone Nargis. Thich Quang Do also condemns the military junta for adding to the death toll by killings and repression. He urges the SPDC to ensure freedom of circulation for international relief agencies, and also to "immediately suspend" the Referendum on the new Constitution, and the fierce campaign to coerce the people to vote "Yes". Finally, he launches an appeal to Vietnamese overseas to urgently send donations to the Burmese people, regretting that "the UBCV is helpless to send aid, for we ourselves suffer repression and detention".

Posted on 19 May 2008
UBCV Spokesman Vo Van Ai welcomes USCIRF report and recommendation to re-designate Vietnam as a "Country of Particular Concern"

2008-05-05 | | IBIB

PARIS, 5 May 2008 (IBIB) - Mr. Vo Van Ai, Director of the International Buddhist Information Bureau (IBIB) and International Spokesman of the outlawed Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV), warmly welcomed the US International Commission on International Religious Freedom's report on Vietnam, made public in Washington D.C. on Friday. "This detailed and meticulous report, based on the findings of an in situ study in October 2007 and extensive investigation and research, is a precious tool for all those concerned with religious freedom in Vietnam. It is also an immense source of encouragement for all followers of Vietnam's religious communities, who brave daily harassments, surveillance and detention to pursue the peaceful exercise of their convictions and beliefs", he declared.

Posted on 19 May 2008
Security Police in Lam Dong force entry into UBCV Giac Hai Pagoda to prepare State-sponsored UN Vesak Day celebrations

2008-05-03 | | IBIB

PARIS, 3 April 2008 (IBIB) - With less than two weeks to go before the 5th United Nations Day of the Vesak (Birth, Enlightenment and Passing away of the Buddha) is celebrated in Vietnam, Security Police in Lam Dong Province continue pressure to expel UBCV monk Thich Tri Khai, Superior monk of the Giac Hai Pagoda in Don Duong district, and take over the Pagoda for Vesak celebrations by the State-sponsored Vietnam Buddhist Sangha. A "Secret" Communist Party document (see IBIB Press Release 18.4.2008) revealed a plan to "struggle against the illegal activities of Thich Quang Do's so-called "Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam" and Thich Tri Khai at Giac Hai Pagoda".

On Monday 29.4.2008, whilst Thich Tri Khai was absent from the Pagoda, local officials of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, the Fatherland Front, the Communist Party's Mobilization Department, Government Religious Board, and Security Police from the district and provincial levels broke the locks on Giac Hai Pagoda's gates and forcibly entered the building. They then broke locks on four rooms inside the Pagoda and occupied the building, claiming they were placing it under control of the State-sponsored Vietnam Buddhist Sangha for the 2008 UN Vesak Day celebrations.

Posted on 19 May 2008
Secret Communist Party Document orders repression against the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam

2008-04-18 | | IBIB

PARIS, 18 April 2008 (IBIB) - The International Buddhist Information Bureau (IBIB) has obtained a copy of a secret Communist Party document that reveals a state-orchestrated policy of repression against the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV), contrasting starkly with the government's claims of "respecting religious freedom" in Vietnam.

The document concerns Buddhist monk Thich Tri Khai (see IBIB Press Release, 3.4.2008), who received expulsion orders from Giac Hai Pagoda in Lam Dong Province. UBCV monk Thich Nhu Tan revealed that his case was part of an intensified campaign to submit UBCV monks and Pagodas to State control before Vietnam hosts the UN International Vesak Day in May 2008.

Posted on 19 May 2008

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