Sam Ewalt from The Blue Water Community of Mindful Living writes:
Our monastic brothers and sisters in Vietnam are in great difficulty.
The 379 monks and nuns who were forced from Bat Nha monastery in September now face immediate violent eviction from their current sanctuary.
Details about this grave situation may be found at the respected web site Human Rights Watch.
More information may be found at the website Help Bat Nha.
A sister at Deer Park Monastery in California has forwarded to us a letter from Sister Chan Kong and I would like to share part of it with you.
Chan Kong writes:
“Please forgive me for disturbing you during this holy season of family and homecoming. But our Bat Nha monks and nuns are now in a position not unlike Mary and her baby Jesus–they do not know where to take shelter, to practice and be together in safety…”
“…the situation has gone from bad to worse, our 379 very young monks and nuns have undergone a kind of baptism by fire, and have achieved a great sucess in training to understand, accept, and have genuine compassion for those who abuse them. Over the past several months they have been verbally assaulted over loudspeakers 24 hours a day and threatened with being bludgeoned to death. Policemen came demanding the monastics’ identification every night from 7 pm to 11:30 pm and cut off their electricity and water for three months.”
“Then, hired mobs arrived on the stormy night of September 27, 2009 to forribly and violently eject 147 monks, smash doors and windows and torment the 232 nuns. They all escaped and sought shelter at Phuoc Hue Temple. At Phuoc Hue the monks and nuns continue to be harrased, and the most compassionate and elderly abbot of that temple, after much resistance, also has been violently forced to sign a letter evicting our monastics. As of December 31, 2009 these brothers and sisters will have absolutely no place to go, and in fact may be drafted by the government into the armed forces. Even if they return to their familial homes the harassment is not likely to cease unless and until they disrobe and abandon their monastic life completely.”
“Now is the most crucial moment for our monks and nuns. Please quickly go to Religious Freedom in Vietnam and sign the petition…
Please sign and write to five friends asking them to sign to achieve the greatest number we could before December 31, 2009. You have come through for me, for us, many times before. I know I can count on you in this, our hour of greatest need.”
“With all our most heartfelt blessings and wishes of peace to you–
—Sister Chan Kong”