Some of the most peaceful people on the planet are being violently harassed and bullied and denied freedom
of religion in Viet Nam. Monks and nuns practicing Buddhism in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh are being threatened with death and with forced military service now. See below for details. Website to sign petition to alert the UN High Commission on Human Rights, the US and EU governments is at
More details below the fold and at http://helpbatnha.org/
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist zen master and leader of the tradition of "engaged Buddhism".
He was exiled from Viet Nam during what the Vietnamese call the "American War" because
he advocated for peace in the US and around the world without taking the side of either
North or South Vietnam. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King who said of Thich Nhat Hanh, His ideas for peace, if applied,would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood,to humanity.
Although he has been allowed to return twice in recent years to a great turnout of Vietnamese without incident, today the monks and nuns practicing Buddhism in the tradition he established are being harassed. Nightly raids by police, 24 hour loud speakers were followed by violent expulsion from their monastery.
Their situation is dire. They sought refuge in another monastery but are being again forced to leave on Dec 31. The monks and nuns in following video are from Plum Village in France.Highly recommend the longer Bat Nha Report further below. Watch to the end the direct eye witness report.
Unlike Myanmar that seems resistant to pressure from the outside world, the Vietnamese
government is less isolated and presumably more sensitive to international pressure.
Please sign the petition at
Update [2009-12-26 23:34:24 by llee]: I fear immolation. Found this desperate sounding appeal from Sister Chan Khon
Please forgive me for disturbing you during this holy season of family and homecoming. But our BatNha monks and nuns are now in a position not unlike Mary and her baby Jesus -- they do not know
where to take shelter, to practice and be together in safety. For more than three years, our 379monastics lived and practiced undisturbed in our Bat Nha (Prajna) Monastery in Vietnam, on landowned by Abbot Thich Duc Nghi and offered to us. Since then, many buildings including a hugeMeditation Hall, four nuns’ residences and three monks’ residences were built using thousands ofcontributions from generous donors around the world, including some of you. Despite our havingplenty of evidence of our owning these buildings, under governmental pressure the Abbot Duc Nghiwithdrew his support for us and ordered us to leave our own monastery. For fourteen months, our
pleas for help to reverse this illegal action went unanswered.
As the situation has gone from bad to worse, our 379 very young monks and nuns have undergone akind of baptism by fire, and have achieved a great success in training to understand, accept, and havegenuine compassion for those who abuse them. Over the past several months they have been verballyassaulted over loudspeakers 24 hours a day and threatened with being bludgeoned to death. Policemen
came demanding the monastics’ identification every night from 7 pm to 11.30 pm, and cut off theirelectricity and water for three months.
Then, hired mobs arrived on the stormy night of September 27, 2009 to forcibly and violently eject 147monks, smash doors and windows and torment the 232 nuns. They all escaped and sought shelter atPhuoc Hue temple. At Phuoc Hue, the monks and nuns continue to be harassed, and the mostcompassionate and elderly abbot of that temple, after much resistance, also has been violently forced tosign a letter evicting our monastics. As of December 31, 2009, these brothers and sisters will haveabsolutely no place to go, and in fact may be drafted by the government into the armed forces. Even if
they return to their familial homes, the harassment is unlikely to cease unless and until they disrobeand abandon their monastic life completely.
NOW is the most crucial moment for our monks and nuns. Please quickly go to
www.thepetitionsite.com/6/religious-freedom-in-viet-nam , sign the petition. This is the second one,
not the one you signed in August 2009. Please sign and write to five friends asking them to sign, toachieve the greatest number we could before December 31, 2009. You have come through for me, for
us, many times before. I know I can count on you in this, our hour of greatest need.