The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is one of the five remaining countries in the world which is still ruled by a communist party. How communist the country still is can be discussed in some length, suffice it to say that in terms of administration and control it still functions pretty much in the communist way and is hence not a real democracy. The Catholic Church is by far the largest Christian community in the country, but government authorities have a shaky relationship with the Catholic Church as the latter is tied to a foreign power and is often seen as colonial. Stereotypes such as “Catholics are French and Protestants are American” are still heard, especially in rural areas. The government announced it will publish a revised version of its notorious Law No. 92, the law on religion, next year and has invited selected Christians to participate in the drafting process. But since the government’s overarching goal remains one of control, it is not expected that things will change substantially, when it comes to registration or the construction of religious buildings, for example.
Her husband is a pastor currently imprisoned in Vietnam. Because she spoke with a US human rights delegation about the matter, authorities arrested and beat her as well.