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Vietnamese cardinal chides government on religious freedom

Catholic World News - May 23, 2011

The Vietnamese government is moving in the wrong direction on religious freedom, the Archbishop of Saigon warns.

In a letter to the prime minister, Cardinal Jean Baptist Pham Minh Man said that a new government decree on religious freedom represents “a huge retrograde step.” The cardinal’s letter was released by VietCatholic news on May 20.

The proposed new policy, which would require religious organizations to seek government authorization, “turns the legitimate rights of citizens into privileges in the hands of government officials,” the cardinal observed. He added that references to “misuse of beliefs and religions” is not defined, and leaves ample room for abuse.

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