Sunday, February 27, 2011

Vietnamese priest facing imprisonment again

Father Nguyen Van Ly
Father Nguyen Van Ly, a Vietnamese priest who has spent more than 15 years in prison, including time in solitary confinement, could soon be imprisoned again.

The 64-year-old's last arrest was in February 2007, when he was detained for distributing material "harmful to the state." In March 2010, he was released to undergo a year's medical treatment after suffering two serious strokes that left him partially paralyzed.

During his medical leave, authorities prevented him from giving interviews or meeting with activists. Police reportedly roughed up a U.S. diplomat who attempted to visit with him.

Father Nguyen is scheduled to be re-admitted to prison on March 15. He has said that if he is indeed forced to return to prison, he will go on a hunger strike and refuse medical treatment as a means of protesting the injustice.

Pray authorities will not send Father Nguyen back to prison. Pray for continued healing for him. Ask God to equip him to stand firm in his faith in the face of oppression and to demonstrate unfailing trust in his Saviour. Pray he and Vietnamese believers facing similar trials will rest in the knowledge that the Good Shepherd walks with them at all times (Psalm 23).

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