However, while many observers have celebrated the high spirits produced by the tour, some have criticized the restrictions placed on Vujicic in Vietnam: the speaker was not permitted to preach basic Christian precepts, and his interpreter was cautioned about using certain words. There is also some debate about whether one interpreter deliberately replaced some of Vujicic’s words with different terms, omitting references to God, Christianity and religion, although other members of the audience say references to God and heaven in an event in Hanoi were interpreted correctly.
CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, “The Vietnamese government’s decision to allow Nick Vujicic to speak in Vietnam appears to be a positive move towards improving the level of freedom of religion or belief in the country. Although it is unlikely that this event indicates a change in policy towards religion, it has sparked discussion about faith and belief amongst the Vietnamese youth which could potentially pressure the government to rethink the state’s tight control of religious activities. We urge the authorities to allow both Vietnamese and overseas Christian speakers to share their life stories and their faith freely in Vietnam, without censorship. We also encourage the government to allow Vietnamese citizens to openly discuss and debate matters relating to religion, faith and belief, both online and offline”.