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    » 04/27/2011, 00.00

    VIETNAM

    Bishop of Kontum held by police on charges of having "baptized people"

    J.B. An Dang

    Bishop Michael Hoang Duc Oanh was able to celebrate Easter Mass in the Montagnard village of Lang Son, where he was prevented froming celebrating Christmas. He found policemen and women of the Communist League outnumbering the faithful.

    Kontun (AsiaNews) - He was able to celebrate Easter Mass, but was detained and brought to the police station, on charges of of having baptized people. It is yet another violation of religious freedom by the authorities of Lang Son, K'Bang County  (central Vietnam), in the area of the Montagnards and it happened to Bishop Michael Hoang Duc Oanh, who was previously prevented from celebrating mass for Christmas in the same village.

    In view of Easter, the bishop had sent numerous petitions to the authorities at all levels, asking for permission to celebrate Mass in a village where it has never been possible to celebrate the Eucharist. Permission was granted.

    But when Msgr. Duc Oanh arrived, along with a priest, he found a hostile atmosphere because police and women of the Communist League women outnumbered the faithful, controlling and mocking the Catholics and the bishop. A long queue of Catholics requested permission to confess. The celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation took place to the sound of laughter and jokes at the gestures of the faithful.

    And after the Mass, the bishop and the priest were brought to the police station and subjected to interrogation for hours. The officials accused the bishop of violating the permit that "only allowed the celebration of Easter Mass, as he had also" baptised persons "," deliberately exceeding what was allowed”.

    The bishop protested, denying that he had "baptized people," he explained that he had only helped the faithful to reconcile themselves with God. "Before eating - he said - you wash your hands. Likewise, before attending the Mass, we wash ourselves, reconciling ourselves with God."

    The concern of the communist authorities and their charges are explained by the fact that the diocese is witnessing a large number of conversions, with 50 thousand baptisms over the past two years.

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    See also

    07/11/2009 VIETNAM
    No end to authorities battle against religion in Vinh
    Riot police and bulldozers to remove a statue of the Virgin from a Catholic cemetery, a priest and his parishioners reported to the police for bringing the author of threats to a priest to the station.

    28/07/2009 VIETNAM
    Priest beaten into a coma by police. Catholics Protest throughout Vietnam
    Thousands of the faithful take part in demonstrations and prayer vigils in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The priest in a coma was beaten and then hurled from the 2nd floor of a hospital. Another was savagely beaten while 30 policemen stood by watching. The Diocese of Vinh publicly denounces the episode.

    29/12/2011 VIETNAM
    Young Vinh Catholic kidnapped by police on Christmas Eve
    Pierre Nguyên Dinh Cuong was taken by men in plain clothes, without an arrest warrant. The sixteenth since end of July to undergo such treatment. People involved in groups like the John Paul II Center for the defence of life or as the Movement of Catholic entrepreneurs and intellectuals on the rise in northern Vietnam. For weeks, the families left with no knowledge of their whereabouts.

    26/07/2011 VIETNAM
    Father Nguyen Van Ly arrested again
    The priest, one of the founders of a movement for democracy that calls for an end to single party rule, is serving a sentence of 8 years in prison. He was released last year for serious health condition.

    29/07/2009 VIETNAM
    Death threats against believers in Dong Hoi, as the police arrest a Catholic
    The Catholic arrested used his home for religious gatherings. The government of Quang Binh wants to eliminate Catholics from its territory.



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