International advocacy for local communities, Vietnam
Engaging civil society at the international level can contribute to successful advocacy and campaigning for the rights of local faith communities. In Vietnam, local authorities have been trying to expropriate 107 hectares of pine forest belonging to the Thien An Abbey, a Catholic monastery, for the last four decades. The land-grabbing campaign has intensified in recent years.
In 2020, organised mobs hired by the local government surrounded the abbey, attacking monks and priests in a bid to seize the remaining 59 hectares of land. State TV also broadcast false, defamatory information about the monastery. In response, BPSOS – a Vietnamese diaspora organisation, led a campaign of international advocacy and media work which resulted in the mob dispersing and a strong show of international support.
Source: BPSOS, www.bpsos.org