Just weeks after a U.S. delegation that included President Obama visited Vietnam, a series of government crackdowns have taken place in the communist country.
Despite U.S. efforts to warm relations with Vietnam, there have been some incidents of concern over the last couple of months, according to International Christian Concern. Will Stark, ICC's regional manager for South Asia, tells OneNewsNow the incidents include the arrest and torture of an imprisoned pastor's wife; and the assault and arrest of a 14-year-old Christian following an attack on a church in northern Vietnam.
"Unfortunately it shows that Vietnam is very concerned and very aggressive towards Christians," he shares. "And unfortunately, so far the U.S. steps in Vietnam have not had positive results for the Christians there."
Stark explains the U.S. probably thought if it reached out to Vietnam, the country would work to improve its human rights record.
"The arms embargo is lifted at this point, so we've lost a significant bargaining chip," he laments. "And what Vietnam is actually doing now is flexing its muscles and persecuting even more the Christians who are there in Vietnam."
Stark says the recent attacks show the true colors of Vietnam's leadership.