Religious Freedom

Our projects have focused on:

  • Vietnam was designated a Country of Particular Concern by the US Department of State in 2015 and 2016
  • Vietnam was placed on the Special Watch List by the US Department of State in 2022
  • 7 communications by UN mandate holders with the Vietnamese government regarding successful legal action to cancel the government-created Cao Dai Sect’s trademark registration of the official name of the Cao Dai Religion with the US Trademark and Patent Office
  • Persecuted religious leaders from Vietnam invited to speak at the IRF Ministerial in 2018 and 2019

In the late 1990’s, BPSOS joined a small number of NGOs to successfully advocate for the passage of the U.S.’ International Religious Freedom Act. The organization then advocated with the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and the State Department’s International Religious Freedom (IRF) Office on the designation of Vietnam as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for egregious, systematic and ongoing religious persecution.

  • 2015 – BPSOS joined the IRF Roundtable; its CEO & President later served on its Steering Committee
  • 2015 – BPSOS co-launched the annual Southeast Asia Freedom of Religion or Belief (SEAFORB) conference
  • 2016 – BPSOS facilitated the Vietnam Freedom of Religion or Belief (VNFORB) Roundtable
  • 2017 – BPSOS co-established the SEAFORB Network and has since served on its Steering Committee
  • 2018, 2019, 2022 – BPSOS participated in the IRF Ministerial held in the U.S. and UK
  • 2020 – BPSOS’ CEO & President joined the Council of Experts of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance (IRFBA)
  • 2021 – BPSOS led the initiative to nurture and develop the next generation of FORB Champions
  • 2021 – BPSOS co-convened the biweekly Roundtable on Myanmar in the aftermath of the military coup in that country
  • 2021 – BPSOS coordinated the global campaign for religious prisoners of conscience

Through Religious Freedom Initiative of BPSOS


Vietnamese advocates attended one or more events on FORB


religious prisoners of conscience worldwide were highlighted at different forums


former victims of religious persecution, a Montagnard Pastor and a Cao Dai follower, met with President Donald Trump at the White House


victims of religious persecution on the victims list of US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) – BPSOS provided information on the vast majority of cases


community members in Vietnam trained to report violations


reports of violations submitted to UN agencies