Vietnamese Buddhism and Religious Freedom

I’ve just had an article published by Tricycle: The Buddhist Review about the lack of religious freedom in Vietnam for Buddhists (and many other religions and sects). The counterpoint is the different forms of resistance offered by the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam and Thich Nhat Hanh. The Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, banned for decades by the Vietnamese government, is something of a thorn in the side of the Vietnamese government for their willingness to risk their personal security in order to practice a deeply meaningful form of Buddhism that expresses commitment to others.

The very popular Thich Nhat Hanh has in the past few years staged numerous teachings in Vietnam, marking a return to his homeland from which he was exiled decades ago. The Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam criticized his return, saying it would lend an aura of approval to the Vietnamese government’s restrictive religious policies. The state-controlled media in Vietnam depicted his return in just this way. Read the article here.

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