CHRISTIAN BREAKING NEWS: Who is Nay Y Blang? Religious Freedom Activist in Vietnam Ethnic Minority Man Sentenced to 4 Years and 6 Months in Jail for “Abusing Democratic Freedoms?” | Hosted Church Meetings at His House, Accused of Attempting to Establish a Separate State… [#NayYBlang]

Nay Y Blang, who hosted church meetings at his house, was accused of attempting to establish a separate state.

During the trial on Jan. 26, 2024, the People’s Court of Phu Yen province convicted religious freedom activist Nay Y Blang to 4 years and 6 months in jail for “abusing democratic freedoms”.

Vietnam sentenced religious freedom activist Nay Y Blang to 4 years and 6 months in jail on Friday for crimes allegedly committed while hosting religious gatherings at his house, according to state media.

Blang, 48, belongs to the Ede ethnic group from the country’s Central Highlands.

He was accused of using these gatherings to “gather forces, divide the national unity bloc, incite secession, self-rule, and establish a separate state for ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands,” and was convicted of “abusing democratic freedoms,” according to Tuoi Tre Online.

According to family members, there was no defense lawyer present throughout his trial.

Blang’s relatives protested by boycotting the trial.

Blang acknowledged and openly revealed his wrongdoing, requesting that the jury consider decreasing the punishment so that he can return to his family as soon as possible, reintegrate into the community, and become a decent citizen who benefits society, according to Tuoi Tre.

According to the report, from the end of 2019 to 2022, Blang used his private home in the eastern coastal province of Phu Yen to hold meetings, pray, and engage in online fellowship with some key figures of the Central Highlands Evangelical Church of Christ, an independent religious group founded that the Vietnamese government considers a reactionary organization.

He has also been accused of “providing false information about freedom of religious belief, slander, distorting religious policies, and violating the interests of the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.”

He was arrested on May 18, 2023.

Supporters said Blang was being punished for his affiliation with the Central Highlands Evangelical Church of Christ, which is neither recognized or sanctioned by the Vietnamese government.

Blang and many Central Highlands Evangelical Church of Christ members have faced ongoing harassment in recent years.

In August 2022, Blang met with a diplomat from the US Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh city.

He and his family were then pursued by local officials, who demanded details on the meeting.

A month later, he received an invitation to meet with a religious delegation from the United States State Department.

However, he was unable to attend the conference because he was stopped by security authorities at a bus station.

The verdict on Friday marked Blang’s 2nd jail sentence.

In 2005, he received a 5-year and 6-month term for “undermining the unity policy.”

This was the 3rd time he had been legally penalized for his actions.

In 2010, the same year he was released from his 1st prison sentence, Blang was sentenced to 24 months in an Educational Facility for “abusing the rights to democratic freedom and freedom of belief to entice and incite others to violate the law, interests of the state, legitimate rights and interests of organizations and individuals.”

Radio Free Asia

Who is Nay Y Blang? Religious Freedom Activist Vietnam 4.5 YEARS JAIL “ABUSING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM?” | Christian Breaking News!

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