01/22/2010, 00.00
VIETNAM

Redemptorists protest violence, while attacks on Hanoi churches feared

by J.B. An Dang
A letter by religious to authorities to reconstruct what happened in Dong Chiem and demands for an investigation and punishment of those responsible for aggression against a monk, as well as an end to attacks and siege at the parish. In the capital, groups of activists call for the resignation of the archbishop.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) - Stop the press campaign that falsifies what happened to the parish of Dong Chiem, lift the siege of the church and stop acts of intimidation toward the faithful, release those who were arbitrarily arrested, investigate and prosecute those who have attacked and wounded Catholics and especially Brother Nguyen Van Tang, respect freedom of religion and symbols of Christian faith. These are the demands that the superior of the Redemptorists of Vietnam addressed in an "urgent letter of protest” to the authorities of Hanoi.  

Who, in turn, seem not to want to stop the campaign of violence and hatred. "Spontaneous" groups of protesters have returned to demand the resignation of the Archbishop of Hanoi, Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet, who for security reasons has left the city. In the parishes of the capital, the fear of possible attacks against churches has spread.  

For their part, the Redemptorists in the document, signed by the Head of the Secretariat of the Redemptorists, Father Joseph Dinh Huu Thoai, present "our views on the incidents that have taken place in the parish of Dong Chiem" and in particular on the bloody aggression of the religious brother, which resulted in his being hospitalised. "As far as related by the Redemptorist priest Nguyen Van Khai, of the monastery at Thai Ha - reads the document - the testimony of a large number of people present, from the photos taken at the place and Viet Duc hospital, we learned that 20 January our Brother Nguyen Van Tang from the monastery in Thai Ha, was attacked by a group of undercover agents who stopped him and savagely beat him, causing serious injuries. "

The letter then notes that the Archdiocese of Hanoi, in a statement, said that in the past days a number of priests and lay people living or going to church "have suffered the same type of mistreatment.  

The 300 Redemptorists of Vietnam, therefore, protest against the destruction of the cross, "an act of desecration, insulting a religious symbol of our faith," the siege and arbitrary restrictions on freedom of movement, access and prayer, as an act of communion between Catholics of Hanoi. This is a violation of human rights and especially freedom of religion, "" the use of violence to resolve what happened in Dong Chiem," "the detention and isolation of a number of the faithful" of the parish," the distortion of truth in the state media. "

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