International Christian Concern has reported a series of government crackdowns on Christians in Vietnam just weeks after US President Barak Obama lifted weapon sanctions on the country.
The charity has alleged local church on the Vietnam-China border was stormed by 30 government officials who beat and arrested churchgoers on June 13th.
The priest was interrogated and forced to sign a statement saying church activities endangered the community. Two other church attendees were arrested including a 14 year old.
This event comes just after the UN condemned the alleged torture and arrest of a pastor's wife in Vietnam, one week ago. Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh's wife, Tran Thi Hong, was reportedly detained and tortured on April 14th 2016 by local authorities of Gia Lai Province.
Officials wanted information about a meeting between her and the visiting US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, David Saperstein, on March 30th.
Although the international community has condemned the crackdown on religious minorities in Vietnam, Christians are fearful their situation will not improve.
"I don't believe that the Vietnamese Government will address this issue," a regional expert told ICC. "I believe we are witnessing [the] Communist Government [flexing] their muscles rather than [relaxing]."
International Christian Concern's Regional Manager for South Asia, William Stark, said: "It is appalling to see the actions by the Vietnamese government against its Christians population both before and after the President's visit.
"In an effort to bring forth a new chapter in US-Vietnamese relations, the President lifted the weapons embargo between the two nations in hopes of a better future.
"Unfortunately, the President relinquished the last major bargaining chip the United States had to use with Vietnam regarding their deplorable human rights record.
"These recent attacks on the church and the arrest and torture of an imprisoned pastor's wife show the true colours of Vietnam's leadership."
Author: Megan Howe