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Vietnamese Monk Dies in Fiery Protest in U.S.

An elderly Vietnamese monk set himself alight in a Buddhist temple in the United States to protest at the lack of religious freedom and demand democracy in his communist homeland, a follower said on Saturday. Thich Chan Hy, 74, killed himself in front of a statue of Avalokita Bodhisattva, a figure of compassion, before daybreak on Christmas Eve, said Phuong Huynh, a youth group leader at the Lien Ha temple in Charlotte-Mecklenburg in North Carolina. “He left a letter to his master on a scroll…with three wishes that he had given up his life for,” Huynh told Reuters. “The three reasons were I wish that all the people living in Vietnam be entitled to freedom of religion and belief, I wish that all the people in Vietnam be entitled to human rights and democracy, and I wish that Vietnam will preserve its sovereignty of its lands and sea borders.” Hanoi recognizes six religions and permits only a single official representative group of each to operate. Full Story

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