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» 04/14/2009
Easter solidarity in a Vietnam where poverty and marginalisation are at home
by J.B. Vu
The Easter solemnity is celebrated in churches and centres of missionary action among AIDS patients, drug addicts and old people left alone. Government papers praise Easter.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – From north to south Easter in Vietnam provided an opportunity to promote missionary action and help people at the bottom of society, made poor by the country’s economic transformation.

“Easter celebrations mark our salvation and we want to share our joy with everyone,” said Father Matthew of Thai Ha Parish in Hanoi. For several months the parish has been under strong pressure from the municipal government to give up claims to land and building seized from the Church.

In Ho Chi Minh City, archbishop Jean-Baptiste Phạm Minh Mẫn urged the faithful to bear witness of the joy of Easter to non Christians.

In the south the Church is also involved in caring for AIDS patients, old people without medical coverage, street kids, housing troubled students in Church-run shelters, dormitories, kindergarten and dispensaries.

Many non-Christian students expressed their happiness that they could take part in activities related to the occasion like singing.

In a rare move government papers published articles about Easter celebrations. In their coverage they explained how the solemnity is celebrated in Vietnam and around the world.  

Since the country embarked on economic reforms in the 1990s the gap between haves and have-nots has widened. This has in turn caused major social problems like corruption, red tape, greed and a loss of ideals, which the government seems powerless to deal with.

The Catholic Church has tried to fill the gap by trying to meet the new needs. It has set up hundreds of kindergartens, drug rehabilitation centres, AIDS hospices and drop-in centres for migrant workers.

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See also
09/25/2008 VIETNAM
In Ho Chi Minh City calls for justice and prayer for those who “persecute us”
by Ngo Quang Kiet
04/18/2006 VIETNAM
Greater involvement of the Vietnamese Church in helping the needy
by JB. VU
03/03/2010 VIETNAM
Vietnamese Church prepares 650 catechumens for baptism
by J.B. VU
03/09/2009 VIETNAM
Campaign of intimidation against lawyer representing Thai Ha parishioners continues
by J.B. An Dang
02/11/2008 VIETNAM
The Catholics of Ho Chi Minh City manifest their solidarity with those of Hanoi
by J.B. An Dang
Easter under heavy security for Catholics of Bangladesh
Bishops of Sri Lanka: Prayers to the risen Christ for peace and unity in the country
Easter, truth is the road to peace among peoples, says Mgr Menamparampil
Bishop of Orissa: fear surrounds Easter because of tension over elections
Almost calm Easter celebrations in Baghdad, Mosul and Basra
Pope: the Risen One continues seeking people to help him to establish justice, truth, and love
Pope: with the Resurrection, the light of God spreads through the world and history
Let us contemplate the face that changed the world, that answered hatred with love, says Pope
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Easter in Pakistan: from full churches to prison missions
Card Zen’s last pastoral letter to the Church of Hong Kong and China
Thailand, 283 converts to receive baptism at Easter
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2,000 young people of the diocese of Saigon prepare to become Catholics at Easter

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