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Hội Đồng Thành Phố Garden Grove

 Long Trọng Công Nhận

Quốc Kỳ Việt Nam Cộng Hòa

Ngày 11 Tháng 3 Năm 2003





Whereas, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations, including the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, a member of the United Nations;

Whereas, the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam provides for the freedom of religious belief and the freedom of association;

Whereas, the Human Rights Watch World Report 2000 confirms that members and leaders from all the major religions in Vietnam faced ongoing religious persecution including the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, the Hoa Hao Buddhist Church, Cao Dai Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and various Christian Evangelical churches;

Whereas, the Department of State Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 2000 on Vietnam indicated that the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam "continued to isolate certain political and religious dissidents by restricting their movements and by pressuring the supporters and family members of others";

Whereas, the Amnesty International Report 2000 condemns the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for restricting religious activities and persecuting its citizens on the basis of their religious affiliation through arbitrary arrests and detention, harassment, physical abuse, censorship, and the denial of the rights of free association and religious worship;

Whereas, a U.N. Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance, Mr. Abdelfattah Amor, following a brief visit to Vietnam in March 2000, issued a report in which he concluded that the serious lack of religious freedom in Vietnam "arises both from legislation providing the authorities with unlimited powers and the policy of a Government and Community Party anxious to use an elaborate system of control to prevent the emergence of any organizations capable of questioning their power and influence";

Whereas, on May 3, 2000, the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly passed a joint resolution, H. Con. Res. 295, with a vote of 415-3, strongly condemning the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for continuing violations of religious and political freedoms 25 years after the Vietnam War had ended;

Whereas, in October 1998, the U.S. Congress passed the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, 22 U.S.C. Sect. 6401, which provided for a wide range of possible diplomatic or economic sanctions against any country found in violation of religious freedom, including restricting aid, limiting export licenses or voting against loans made by international financial institutions;

Whereas, a number of Roman Catholic priests in Hue, Central Vietnam, including Fathers Nguyen Van Ly, Nguyen Huu Giai, and Phan Van Loi, have issued a series of public statements calling on the communist authorities to end their oppression of religions and interference with Church activities;

Whereas, the communist authorities in the southern provinces of Vietnam have violently cracked down on members and leaders of the Hoa Hao Buddhist Church who were protesting the arbitrary arrests of the Church’s followers;

Whereas, the City of Garden Grove is home to one of the largest populations of Vietnamese-American citizens and residents who have fled communist Vietnam in search of political and religious freedom;

Whereas, the City of Garden of Grove is home to a diverse number of religious institutions and having the most places of worship per capita than any other city in Orange County;

Whereas, Vietnamese-American citizens and residents in the United States, including a substantial number of residents of the City of Garden Grove, have participated in numerous petitions drives and public demonstrations in support of dissident religious leaders who risk their lives in calling for religious freedom and the right of association inside Vietnam;

Whereas, it is in the moral interest of the City of Garden Grove and the United States to promote religious freedom in Vietnam: Now therefore, be it

Resolved, that the City Council of the City of Garden Grove declares its support for and solidarity with the Vietnamese American community and dissident religious leaders in their continuing effort to oppose religious oppression in Vietnam; and be it further

Resolved that the City Council of Garden Grove urges the United States Congress conduct an investigative hearing on human rights abuses, including the restrictions of religious freedom, in Vietnam; and be it further

Resolved that the City Council of Garden Grove requests the U.S. State Department to officially express the U.S. government’s support for religious freedom in Vietnam, which is consistent with the principles and spirit of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998; and be it further

Resolved that the Clerk of the City of Garden Grove transmit copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to each U.S. Senator and Representative from California and Orange County, respectively.