2 September, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

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





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


» 07/16/2012
VIETNAM - VATICAN
Government deploys tanks as over 10 thousand Vinh diocese faithful march for religious freedom.
by J. B. An Dang
Banners and slogans demanding religious freedom and accusing the authorities of attacks against the faithful and sacred objects. A Catholic lawyer escapes arrest. A journalist wounded by a knife in attack. Solidarity and prayer for all the churches in Vietnam. Military deployed in front of the bishop's house.

Vinh (AsiaNews) - More than 10 thousand Catholics marched yesterday in different areas of the diocese of Vinh to demand respect for religious freedom against threats and violence of the government. On the eve of the marches, to intimidate the Catholics, the authorities deployed tanks outside the bishop's residence, with patrols by gangs of thugs and soldiers.

In a letter dated July 10, sent to cardinals and bishops from all over Vietnam, the diocese of Vinh asked for solidarity for the violence suffered by the faithful of Con Coung: "Recently - says the message - the Catholics of the diocese of Vinh, in Nghe An province (northwest), have suffered persecution because of their faith. The attack on 1 July was the tip of the iceberg of a series of violent attacks against Catholics in the region. On that day, the local government mobilized large numbers of police, army, militia thugs to disrupt and physically attack the priests and faithful. They have occupied the Con Coung chapel, desecrated the sacred space, destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary. "

The diocese asked for the spiritual support and solidarity of other dioceses, and announced a huge protest yesterday, Sunday, July 15. They called for an end to the persecution and unwarranted attacks of propaganda and defamation against Catholics in the state media.

Yesterday, prays were said for the faithful of Vinh throughout the dioceses of Vietnam. There were marches and sit-ins in the diocese of a Lộc Thủy, Yên Hòa, Cẩm Trường, Mành Sơn, Thanh Dạ, Sơn Trang, Xuân An, Đồng Lam, Bột Đà and Quang Lãng. Catholics carried Vatican flags, placards and banners with slogans such as "religious freedom is a right", "we are determined to protect the Church"; "we protest against the authorities Con Coung that destroyed the statue of the Virgin Mary."

What is new is the fact that the government's attempts to intimidate the faithful on the eve of the marches failed to stop the protest.

Saturday morning at least three armoured cars, equipped with weapons, were stationed outside the residence of the bishop of Vinh. The police in the provinces of Quang Binh, Ha Tinh, and Nghe An were put on alert, patrolling the streets of the towns of the diocese, together with groups of thugs paid by the government who surrounded the church and made threats.

In previous days, "An Ninh Thu Do" newspaper ("The security of capital," published by Hanoi Police) had threatened to detain Le Quoc Quan, a Catholic activist in Vinh. Le Quoc Quan is a very famous lawyer in the country, who has often defended human rights and the rights of the Church. Saturday morning, the day before the Vinh march, the police raided his office and tried to drag him to the police station, but the attempt failed thanks to the intervention of the lawyer's friends and neighbours.

Another Catholic, the prominent journalist JB Nguyen Huu Vinh, who last year was almost beaten to death in Dong Chiem, was attacked by thugs in his home on 8 July, suffering knife wounds to his back and arm.

Saturday and Sunday, police blocked the ferries between Lam Dong and Quan Lang, to block the flow of the faithful to meeting places for the marches.

Despite all these plans and threats, thousands of Catholics set out Saturday night, walking for miles along highway no. 1 to arrive at places for meetings designated.

Yesterday all the marches were peaceful except in Bot Da where thugs and police disrupted Mass.

Many young people have accused the government of "showing the military because they fear the strength of the Catholics." Atri accuse Hanoi of using the same methods now in China for suppressing religious freedom.

(with the collaboration of Br. Paul)

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/22/2005 VATICAN – VIETNAM
Cardinal Sepe to visit Vietnam in November
11/13/2012 VIETNAM - VATICAN - CHINA
Vietnam-Holy See relations, a model for China-Vatican talks
by J.B. Vu
06/18/2013 VIETNAM - VATICAN
Vietnamese Catholics celebrate new auxiliary bishops in Vinh and Hung Hoa
by Paul N. Hung
06/22/2013 VIETNAM - VATICAN
Year of Faith: Saigon celebrates 25th anniversary of Vietnamese martyrs canonization
by Thanh Thuy
08/27/2009 VIETNAM
Catholics in the United States in solidarity with the Church in Vietnam
by J.B. An Dang

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

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.