01/07/2008, 00.00
VIETNAM
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Catholics in Hanoi continue peaceful protest

First public protest by faithful in the Vietnamese Capital asks for the restitution of the Apostolic delegations’ residence to the Church. Taken over by the government during the communist revolution of 1975, the complex was also used as a disco and a car park for state officials.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – The peaceful protests of Catholics in Hanoi continues.  They are asking that a building that was the seat of the Apostolic Delegation, taken by the public authorities and currently used as a night club, as well as its gardens which have been transformed into a private car park for state officials.  Gathered around the gates of the compound the faithful pray, lay flowers and hold candle-light vigils.

This protest that has been ongoing for some weeks now, is the first such public demonstration to held by the capitals’ Catholics, who meet in front of the building which is part of St Josephs Cathedral.  A petition for its restitution was also presented to the governing authorities and on December 30th there was a meeting between the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and the archbishop of Hanoi msgr. Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet.  

Hanoi diocese maintains it posses deeds attesting to its ownership of the land and the building complex dating back to 1933.

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