11 Christians jailed in Vietnam are missing, US NGO says

11 Christians jailed in Vietnam are missing, US NGO says

Five Catholics and six Protestants who were jailed in Vietnam for a range of offenses related to religious activities dating back to 2011 have gone missing, highlighting a larger problem within the communist country’s judicial system, International Christian Concern (ICC) has said.

It said nine of the Christians had been jailed for “undermining national unity policy” due to their involvement in Degar Protestantism and the Ha Mon Catholic Church, noting that both sects were not approved by the Vietnamese government.

“Eleven Vietnamese Montagnard Christians who were imprisoned for religious activity and religious identity in the Southeast Asian nation are missing, prompting concerns over the treatment of jailed Christ followers in Vietnam,” the US-based NGO said in a statement.

“The 11 men, consisting of six Protestants and five Catholics, were sentenced, at different times, to a combined total of 90 years and eight months in prison dating back as far as 2011 and as recently as 2016. Now, their whereabouts are a mystery.”

Montagnards fought alongside the US and allied troops during the Vietnam War. Many converted to Christianity and have complained of the Vietnamese government’s repressive policies, like religious persecution and expropriation of land by local officials.

In January, a Vietnamese court jailed almost 100 Montagnards after they were convicted of terrorism-related charges following attacks in June last year on a remote police station in the country’s Central Highlands that left nine people dead.