Investigators from the south central province of Ninh Thuan detained a monk on Wednesday
after he confessed to tying up and whipping two novices at the pagoda he managed.
The police said they will investigate Nguyen Vo Dong, 36, for reportedly torturing the boys.
Dong allegedly beat Le Van Nui, 10, and Tran Le Minh Nguyen, 8, after suspecting that they stole donations.
The boys said Dong beat them many times starting in May.
Residents near the pagoda discovered the abuse last month after hearing children’s screams and seeing injuries on the boys.
Le Thi Vin, Nui’s mother, filed a legal complaint against Dong after learning of the abuse.
Nguyen’s grandmother and legal guardian, however, decided to let it go.
The police stepped in late last month and confiscated a length of rope and an electrical cable that Dong reportedly confessed to using to “torture” Nui and Nguyen.
The rope was used to tie their arms and legs; he whipped them with the cable.
Both of the boys are students at a local primary school.
Dong has also met with Vin to apologize and offer VND20 million (nearly US$1,000) in compensation.
Local Buddhist families donated another VND20 million to the family.
Many families in Vietnam send their children to pagodas for both religions and economic reasons.
Pagodas often agree to raise children for a nominal cost.
Representatives from the Ninh Thuan Buddhism Committee said Dong is still studying to be a monk.
They said he was charged with managing the pagoda while the chief monk position at the pagoda was unfilled.