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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 12/03/2012, 00.00

    VIETNAM-VATICAN

    Decree 92: Hanoi chooses Chinese model and clamps down on religious freedom

    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."

     

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    See also

    03/06/2015 VIETNAM
    Bishop of Kontum calls for patience and dialogue to stem attacks on religious freedom
    Msgr. Hoàng Duc Oanh stresses that for the faithful in Vietnam difficulties are a "constant daily". Among the unresolved issues permits related to places of worship and government approvals for pastoral activity. The prelate calls for the cancellation of procedures that are a source of "problems and red tape."

    24/01/2013 VIETNAM - VATICAN
    For Vietnamese Catholics, govt using the Vatican to cover up religious repression
    The official press in the Communist nation censors meeting between Benedict XVI and Nguyên Phu Trong. Catholic media criticise the country's leaders for using the pope's goodwill and the Holy See's prestige to cover up its violations of human rights. The archbishop of Saigon turns down invitation to ceremony inagurating new, more restrictive rules on religious activities.

    22/01/2013 VATICAN - VIETNAM
    One step closer to diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Hanoi
    Benedict XVI received the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong. A statement from the Holy See speaks of "cordial discussions" and “the hope that some pending situations may be resolved and that the existing fruitful cooperation may be strengthened."

    13/01/2011 VATICAN VIETNAM
    The Pope appoints his "representative" for Vietnam
    A significant step, although there are still no full diplomatic relations, broken since 1975. A slow journey out of respect for religious freedom. But for Vietnamese Catholics "normality" is still far off, contradicted by frequent incidents of abuse and violence by the authorities.

    06/12/2006 HONG KONG – CHINA – VIETNAM
    Card. Zen: “Beijing should learn from Vietnam and be open to religious freedom”
    After a two-day visit in Ho Chi Minh City, the bishop of Hong Kong talked to AsiaNews about the deep faith of the Vietnamese people and the openness of the government towards the Church. He invited China to disavow the Patriotic Association and grant full freedom to its Catholics.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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