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    » 05/29/2007, 00.00

    VIETNAM

    Bibles at eight cents, free for the poor

    JB. VU

    A missionary initiative takes off in a parish in the central part of the country and reaches Ho Chi Minh City. Many are convinced that by spreading the word the number of Vietnamese Catholics will double.

    Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – In a small parish in Vuon Xoai (Central Vietnam) someone came up with the idea of selling small Bibles at the price of 2,000 dong (US$ 0.08) or giving them away for free to those who could not afford even that much. So now, every Sunday, at the end of mass, a small table is set up in front of the church with Bibles and a collection box. The area might be poor and life hard, but Catholics lead a life of faith and have not renounced the idea of spreading the word among the residents of nearby hamlets and villages.

    The idea has caught on so much that it is now being implemented in some parishes in Ho Chi Minh City. It is also informed by a belief that if the six million Catholics of Vietnam read the Bible, led their lives according to its principles and devoted themselves to mission, in two years they should be twice as many. 

    Tuan, a student, has been reading the Bible for years. “I keep it in my pocket every day when I go to school,” he told AsiaNews. “I feel calm, and recognise the message Jesus brings to me. Through the story of His life, I realised the mistakes of my own life. I have taken part in Bible sharing groups and this has helped me understand my own orientation and my duties to my family, friends, myself and the Church.”

    ”Reading and listening to the Bible I feel rich,” said a professor from a private university. “Every day I randomly open a page to read and reflect upon Jesus. This is my spirituality.”

    “Catholics are sometimes discriminated in the workplace,” said a worker. “So I think about myself and read the Bible to draw inspiration for my life. I have participated in small groups to discuss the ideas of the Bible.”

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    See also

    02/01/2010 VIETNAM
    Ho Chi Minh City Redemptorists accused of propaganda against the State
    There are fears that priests might become the victims of a new wave of violence. Redemptorists criticise unfair seizures by the government in Hanoi and bauxite mining among the Montagnards of central Vietnam. Communist authorities quote Pope to prove their point but fail to involve the population in dialogue.

    21/01/2008 VIETNAM
    This year 60 new candidates join Hồ Chí Minh City’s Dominican Institute
    The future clergymen and women come from every diocese in the country, a situation that facilitates the exchange of cultural experiences. “Education is a priority for the Vietnamese Church,” says Mgr Nguyễn Văn Nhơn, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

    23/01/2007 VIETNAM – VATICAN
    Diplomatic relations should not face obstacles anymore, says Card Pham Minh Man
    Speaking to AsiaNews, the archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City talks about his meeting with Vietnam’s president and their discussion about religious freedom and the Church’s role in the country’s development, especially in the areas of education and health care.

    20/10/2008 VIETNAM
    After the “great turmoil” comes the joy of an auxiliary bishop, Monsignor Kiet says
    In a letter to the faithful, the archbishop of Hanoi highlights the statement by the Bishops’ Council on “frank and direct” dialogue and prayer. There are fears that attacks against the prelate by Hanoi mayor, “rising star’ in Vietnam’ politics, will continue.

    25/09/2008 VIETNAM
    In Ho Chi Minh City calls for justice and prayer for those who “persecute us”
    About 7,000 people take part in a prayer vigil during which participants express communion with Hanoi Catholics, victims of a vicious attack by city authorities and the Communist Party. A “drastic action” against the Catholic community is feared.



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