HANOI, Vietnam — Communist Vietnam’s sometimes edgy relationship with religious freedom is being tested in a dispute over a monastery inhabited by disciples of Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the world’s most famous Zen masters.
For four years, the Buddhist monks and nuns at Bat Nha monastery in central Vietnam have been quietly meditating and studying the teachings of the 82-year-old Vietnamese sage who is perhaps the world’s best-known living Buddhist after Tibet’s Dalai Lama.
But lately, they are in a standoff that could test the patience of even the most enlightened.
First, local authorities cut off their power, water and telephones.
Then, a mob descended on their compound with sledgehammers, smashing windows, damaging buildings and threatening occupants….
*Sigh* I wonder if they make gym shoes in Bhutan?