Vietnam sent a stern warning to dissidents last month: criticize the government online and you'll end up in jail
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HANOI, VIETNAM — The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Hanoi, Vietnam has on Sunday welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump to their Kingdom Hall.
Trump joined hundreds of congregants during the group’s Sunday Public Talk and Watchtower studies.
It is currently not known if Trump’s visit to the meetings was planned but ‘ushers’, otherwise called Attendants, were seen making front-row seat available for the president.
Speaking the press present after the meeting, Trump commended the Vietnamese government for upholding religious freedom in the country. “The status of respect for religious freedom has improved significantly compared to previous years, and I commend the government for such efforts” – Trump said.
The Constitution of Vietnam officially provides for freedom of worship, while the government has imposed a range of legislation restricting religious practices. Despite being a communist country, Vietnam is widely known for its tolerance towards other religions. However, the Government has in the past held discussions about registration and recognition with leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
After worshiping with Jehovah’s Witnesses in Hanoi Sunday, Trump met with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang to continue the day’s business.
Trump told a joint press conference, “For trade to work, all countries must play by the rules. I am encouraged that Vietnam has recently become the fastest growing export market to the United States. Mr. President, I applaud your efforts to implement economic reforms and increase Vietnam’s trade and investment in all directions. The United States is enthusiastic about reforms that promote economic prosperity for all Vietnamese citizens.”
He added, “We just had a great discussion about American goods and services coming into Vietnam. Two-way street. I am confident that American energy, agriculture, financial services, aviation, digital commerce, and defense products are able to meet all of your many commercial needs. And, in fact, not only meet them but what we do is better than anybody else.”
Speaking through a translator, Quang described his meeting with Trump as fruitful, saying, “The president’s state visit to Vietnam marks a milestone in Vietnam-U.S. relations, creating strong momentum for the substantive, effective, and stable development of the bilateral, comprehensive partnership.”
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
By Jack Ryan
On June 11 1963, Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk brought attention to the persecution of Buddhists by the Vietnamese government. After previous protests failed to garner attention, Thích Quảng Đức sat himself at a busy Saigon intersection, doused himself with gasoline, and set himself on fire. The crowd screamed in shock while other monks sat and prayed for their friend who, even though totally immersed in flames, never moved or made a sound. The iconic image is one of the most graphic and disturbing to ever be published but it did bring attention to the corrupt South Vietnamese government.
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