25 April, 2015 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


» 04/06/2012
VIETNAM
In Kon Tum, Catholics pray in private homes since the government seized their church
by Nguyen Hung
The authorities in Hiếu Đạo confiscated the building 30 years ago and have not returned it yet. Nevertheless, the number of believers keeps on growing through conversions. "We are convinced that God will return the altar to us," local bishop tells AsiaNews.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - For Catholics in one parish located in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, the most precious gift at Easter would be celebrating Mass in their church. This has been denied to them for the past 30 years after local authorities seized their place of worship and never returned it. Despite harassment, local Christians have continued to grow in their faith, engage in pastoral and social work and carry out activities of evangelisation that has resulted in thousands of converts and baptisms. Next Sunday, another group of catechumens will in fact do the same.

"I hope that in this Easter season, the local government will return our church," said a member of Hiếu Đạo parish. "We need it for Mass and prayer," he told  AsiaNews. The parish itself is in the Diocese of Kon Tum (Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces), in Vietnam's Central Highlands.

The local bishop, Mgr Michael Hoàng Đức Oanh, heeded his plea by urging lay people in Kon Tum to "believe in God despite the loss of the church." In fact, "We are firmly convinced that God will return the altar to us."

During Lent, more than 30,000 Church members took part in retreats, sacraments and confession offered by diocesan priests.

Since the community still does not have a church, many residents showed their solidarity by making their homes available for Gospel readings and the Rosary. As in the past, Easter this year will see a large number of catechumens undergo baptism. According to diocesan sources, some 5,000 local people embraced Catholicism since 2003,.

Despite widespread poverty, Catholics in Kon Tum are very much involved in socially relevant activities, like charity work, children's education and care for the sick and the elderly. Funds are also raised to help women start up their own businesses or find jobs.

All this helps non-Christians as well, including atheists and members of other religions.

Located in Vietnam's central Highlands, the Diocese of Kon Tum covers an area of 25,000 km2. According to the latest figures (2003), Catholics number 261,000 out of 1.7 million residents.

The area is poor with an underdeveloped economy. However, it is rich in vocations and conversions, evidence of the vitality of the local Church.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
03/31/2010 INDIA
Easter baptisms, a right and the life of the Church, Card Gracias says
by Nirmala Carvalho
03/24/2005 ISRAEL – PALESTINE – HOLY LAND
Jerusalem: the Cross breaks down the wall of fear
by Bernardo Cervellera
04/05/2012 LAOS
Laotian Christians challenge official ban and celebrate Holy Week
04/18/2014 INDONESIA
Charitable works, confession and Mass fill Holy Week for Indonesian Catholics
by Mathias Hariyadi
03/29/2005 PAKISTAN
Easter in Pakistan, a time of solidarity despite discrimination

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope remembers and prays for "latest tragedy" of migrants, "our brothers and sisters" who "are seeking happiness"At the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis says he is praying for the hundreds of victims in a sinking off the coast of Libya. An appeal to the international community to "act decisively and promptly." "Every baptized person is called to witness in word and deed, that Jesus is risen, He is alive and present in our midst." The Christian message "is not a theory, an ideology or a complex system of precepts and prohibitions, or moralism, but a message of salvation, a concrete event, even a person: the Risen Christ, the living and only Savior of all" . The Pope will be in Turin on June 21 to honor the Shroud, the exposition of which begins today.
SAUDI ARABIA – YEMEN
Saudi war in Yemen masks widening domestic tensions
by Afshin ShahiSaudi Arabia is using the conflict in Yemen to control domestic problems, especially social inequalities and religious sectarianism. However, whilst the royal family flaunts its wealth, some 20 per cent of the population lives in poverty. Many disgruntled young Saudis end up becoming "foreign fighters" for the Islamic state (IS). Some 15 per cent of the Saudi population is Shia, under the heavy thumb of the Sunni-dominated state. Afshin Shahi, director of the Centre for the Study of Political Islam and lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics at University of Bradford, provides the following lucid analysis.
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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.