WASHINGTON — A Protestant pastor incarcerated in Vietnam is suffering abuse, according to the 2020 annual report from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
The USCIRF report states Pastor A Dao is being beaten and abused by guards and prisoners and is now in poor health.
At the time of arrest, A Dao was pastor of Montagnard Evangelical Church of Christ in Kontum Province and an advocate for religious freedom for church members in Vietnam’s Central Highlands and elsewhere.
In 2016, he spoke at rights conferences in Southeast Asia and East Timor and asked the international community to help persecuted church members. He was arrested after returning to Vietnam and sentenced in 2017 to 5 years in prison. Reports say he was tortured to confess to “helping individuals to escape abroad illegally” but maintained his innocence.
Vietnam is No. 21 on Open Door’s 2020 World Watch List of places where it is most difficult to be a Christian.