19 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 12/03/2012 12:44
VIETNAM-VATICAN
Decree 92: Hanoi chooses Chinese model and clamps down on religious freedom
by Nguyen Hung
The law, in force as of January 1, legislates heavy restrictions on worship, already alarming the Buddhist community. The "draconian" Chinese model becomes a reference point for the Communist government. Vietnamese priest: a "backward" measure that violates the "rights of citizens." Fears of a crisis in model of dialogue between the Holy See and Hanoi.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) - Christian and Buddhist religious leaders and faithful, are "concerned" about the consequences of Decree 92, which has been approved by the Vietnamese Government and will be in force as of 1 January 2013.  It legislates "severe restrictions" on freedom of worship in the country. As pointed out by a senior government official, the leaders of the Communist Party seem to be following the "Chinese model" for future decisions in matters of faith. A radical departure from the policy promoted until the recent past - one that included dialogue between the Holy See and Hanoi - that had also met with Vatican approval in the context of regional diplomacy (see AsiaNews 13/11/2012 Vietnam-Holy See relations, a model for China-Vatican talks).

A young Catholic from Hanoi, who has asked to remain anonymous, points to a recent meeting between the Chinese delegation and senior officials of the Vietnamese government. At that time, the Vice-President of Parliament, Tong Thi Phong stressed that "Vietnam will increasingly model itself on China in matters of religious policies." And, adds the faithful, "I do not understand the meaning of these statements," given that Beijing's legislation in matters of worship "is the most draconian in the world."

A priest based in the capital also voices concern, who describes Decree 92 as "backward" and calls on the government to "respect the rights of citizens", starting from the principle of religious freedom. His words are echoed by Peter Sang, a faithful of the parish of Thai Ha, who believes that the executive "is looking for a way to control and restrict the freedom of religion." He also recalled the practice, often used in the past to recruit violent thugs to target anyone who affirms their faith and desire to practise their faith.

Decree 92, which has already alarmed the Buddhist community, consists of five chapters and 46 articles. The third rule of the "religious organizations" and the fourth the "religious activities": these are the two elements of particular concern among the faithful. They have in fact "vague" terminology and express "ambiguous" concepts, which leave a wide margin for interpretation and can be exploited to launch "generic" accusations. Under the norm religious will be forced to undergo to an "educational program" on the history of Vietnam and its legislation, sponsored and held by representatives of the ministries of Interior, Justice and Education. Finally, members of the clergy are required to prepare a specific request in the case of foreign travel for conferences and ask authorities' "permission" in the case of transfers to a different area of ​​the country.

So far there has been no official comment from the Vatican regarding these regulations that will come into force next year in matters of worship. What is certain is that they represent a backward step in the progress of the recent past that had caused the prefect of Propaganda Fide to include the Holy See - Hanoi model as a basis for future dialogue with China. Cardinal Fernando Filoni (see AsiaNews 25/10/2012 Card Filoni: Pope's Letter to the Church in China still waiting for an answer) called for " a new way for dialogue, a dialogue that is even more open and carried out on a more equitable basis" with Beijing "for example, the Holy See and Vietnam - said the cardinal - have found a modus operandi et progrediendi."

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/24/2013 VIETNAM - VATICAN
For Vietnamese Catholics, govt using the Vatican to cover up religious repression
01/22/2013 VATICAN - VIETNAM
One step closer to diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Hanoi
01/13/2011 VATICAN VIETNAM
The Pope appoints his "representative" for Vietnam
12/06/2006 HONG KONG – CHINA – VIETNAM
Card. Zen: “Beijing should learn from Vietnam and be open to religious freedom”
05/25/2011 VIETNAM-CHINA-VATICAN
Vietnamese Catholics pray for the Church in China
by Thanh Thuy

Editor's choices
ITALY - ASIA
Easter, victory over death and impotence
by Bernardo Cervellera
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.