3 Christian bloggers were sentenced yesterday to 12, 10, and 4 years in prison respectively. What was their crime you may ask? They were charged with spreading anti-government propaganda. They were the founding members of what they called the “Free Journalists Club” which was not officially recognized by the government.
Nguyen Van Hai, Marie Ta Phong Tan, and Phan Thanh Hai along with 18 other people were reportedly taken into custody according to local bloggers. Dang Thi Kim Lieung, mother of Marie Ta Phong Tan, self-immolated and died on July 30 in protest over her daughter’s continued detention.
It seems like the government was concerned about the political fallout of this trial and sentence that they felt the need to surround the courthouse with 400 security officials that kept the crowds away and confiscated camera’s and cell phones.
The U.S. Embassy criticized the sentencing of these Christian bloggers, although the Obama administration is doing nothing about religious liberties in our own nation.
This is the reason that the Christians in the United States must wake up and start standing up for their religious liberties at home. The whole reason these Christian bloggers were sentenced to prison was because they were not “officially recognized”. Our government is not very far away from requiring the same type of thing.
Please pray for these courageous saints in Vietnam and their families.