A Dao

Current Status: Released - at risk

Photo of A Dao

Other Names: A Đảo, A Ma Dũng

Date of Birth: 1981

Gender: M

Religion: Christian (Protestant)

Ethnicity: Montagnard

Occupation: Religious leader

Last Known Prison: Gia Trung prison, Gia Lai province

Areas of Activism:

  • Religious freedom

Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:

  • Former Political Prisoner

February 2021:

Pastor A Dao, who was released from prison in September after a campaign of intervention by the US Committee on International Religious Freedom, has received assistance from International Christian Concern (ICC) to set up a small convenience store so he can make a living. Pastor A Dao had been in prison for four years in Kontum Province, where his Baptist church was a target of harassment by the authorities. Since his release, Pastor A Dao has been struggling to survive. He said the ICC only provided him a portion of what he needed; the rest he had to borrow from others.

September 2020:

Commissioner James Carr of the US Commission on Religious Freedom (USCIRF) reported that Pastor A Dao was released early after serving four years of his five-year pirson sentence. He was arrested in August 2016, after returning from a conference on religious freedom in East Timor. Commissioner Carr stated, “I hope this release is a sign that the Vietnamese government is serious about improving religious freedom conditions and will release other individuals detained for their religious freedom advocacy, including Nguyen Bac Truyen.”

Details - Background, History of Activism.

Pastor A Dao, also known as A Ma Dung, from Kontum province, is a pastor of the Montagnard Evangelical Church of Christ.

He advocated for religious freedom for his fellow church members in the Central Highlands and elsewhere. In August 2016 he attended a recent conference on Freedom of Religion in SE Asia and the ASEAN Civil Society Conference and ASEAN People's Forum.

Arrested August 18, 2016. Sentenced to 5 years in prison under Art. 275 (1999 Code). Released September 18, 2020.

August 18, 2016
  • Art. 275 (1999 Code)
April 28, 2017
5 years in prison
August 18, 2021
September 18, 2020
US government

He was arrested in August 2016 under Art. 275 ("organizing for individuals to flee abroad illegally"), a charge he denied. On April 27, 2017, he was sentenced to 5 years in prison. He is detained at Gia Trung Detention Center, Gia Lai Province.

May 2020:

The commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, James Carr, adopted pastor A Dao as part of the Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project. 

August 2020:

US Congressman Glenn Grothman (WI) adopted Pastor A Dao through the Defending Freedoms Project of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback also called for the immediate release of pastor A Dao on the 4th anniversary of his detention.

September 2020

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) congratulated the government of Vietnam on its National Day and encouraged the government to take steps to improve religious freedom conditions in the country. “USCIRF welcomes Vietnam’s progress, but we remain deeply concerned about the harassment of unregistered religious groups and religious freedom advocates,” noted USCIRF Vice Chair Anurima Bhargava. “We urge the government of Vietnam to release all individuals detained because of the peaceful expression of their beliefs, including Nguyen Bac Truyen and Pastor A Dao.”

Profile last updated: 2022-07-05 22:18:38

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