4 October, 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

» 08/06/2012
"Prehistoric" vs "modern" communism: arrests for Catholics and activists, marriage for gays
by Nguyen Hung
Fifty anti-China demonstrators are arrested. Gay and lesbian demonstration is allowed. Seventeen young Catholics and one Protestant have been arrested for defending freedom of worship. Justice minister pledges to recognise gay marriage.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) - Vietnam's communism is in some respect "pre-historic" even if it is trying to modernise to remain in power, this according to experts who spoke about recent events in the capital.

About a hundred members of Vietnam's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered community (pictured) held their first parade in the streets of Hanoi. Holding balloons and riding bicycles, they called for greater tolerance in society.

Although unauthorised, the demonstration went off without a hitch with participants unmolested by either bystanders or police. A protest against Chinese hegemony in the South China Sea ended instead in the arrest of 50 activists.

"For some reason, the government thinks that political protesters are more dangerous than gay people," said Nguyen Phuc Tiet, a young demonstrator.

It appears in fact that the government is more open to homosexuality. Last month, Justice Minister Ha Hung Cuong said that Vietnam should reconsider its laws and recognise marriage between people of the same sex. If this happened, Vietnam would be the first Asian country to legalise gay marriage.

Coming from the Vietnamese Communist party, such "modernity" can be explained by its desire to be accepted in the world economy, especially its main partner, the United States. But some suspect that such "modernity" is also a way to hide some of the dictatorship's "prehistoric" aspects, such arresting anti-China and pro-democracy activists and bloggers.

In one respect, the government's attitude is even more "prehistoric," namely religion. In fact, religious groups are kept under tight government leash-this is especially true for Catholics.

Sources told AsiaNews that in Con Cuông (Vinh), the regime continues to harass Catholics, guilty of practicing their faith, in various ways, including press campaigns and physical attacks like stone throwing.

Since July 2011, the authorities arrested without charges 17 young Catholics and a Protestant. In response, Fr Antony, a Redemptorist clergyman in Saigon, talked to over 3,000 people, asking them to "pray for Catholics, unfairly arrested and victimised by the regime, and for our nation."

What many young believers find hard to believe is the fact that "government is so eager to crack down on Catholics and yet unwilling to protect Vietnam's sovereignty vis-à-vis China."

"Public opinion in Vietnam is shocked by the inanity of the country's leaders, following China's decision to place a garrison and its administration in Sansha, in the Paracels."

"The government of Vietnam should defend our nation," said Fr Joseph, another Redemptorist. "Instead, it just sent a diplomatic note."

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
08/22/2011 VIETNAM – CHINA
Hanoi cracks down on protests, 50 anti-Chinese demonstrators arrested over South China Sea
by Thanh Thuy
05/16/2013 VIETNAM - CHINA
Long An: Vietnamese activists jailed for 'anti-Chinese protest'
06/17/2011 CHINA
South China Sea: Beijing sending patrol ship
07/18/2011 VIETNAM – CHINA
South China Sea: Vietnam wants ASEAN as forum for negotiations
by Thanh Thuy
Vietnamese take to streets against Beijing’s incursions in the South China Sea

Editor's choices
Pope in the US: “We Christians, the Lord’s disciples, ask the families of the world to help us”In the last Mass of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, Francis Pope highlights the daily "little gestures" that define the family, which is “the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith". Gratitude, respect, and collaboration with families in which the Spirit operates can be found in every “family, people, region, or religion”.
Pope in the US: Without the family, the Church would not existFrancis met bishops gathered in Philadelphia for the eighth World Meeting of Families. “We might well ask whether in our pastoral ministry we are ready to ‘waste’ time with families. Whether we are ready to be present to them, sharing their difficulties and joys.” Young generations should not be blamed if they grew up with distorted values. “As pastors,” we must extend “a sincere invitation to young people to be brave and to opt for marriage and the family.”
As the pope’s visit to Cuba raises hopes, a sclerotic regime exploits it
by Tony Pino V.*As soon as he landed in Cuba, Pope Francis issued a message of faith, peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion, and mercy, urging people to be child-like. As the regime conducts picture-perfect parades, ordinary Cubans pray to Our Lady of El Cobre asking for help to leave the island to live elsewhere. The US embargo has been an excuse to stifle dissent and development. So far, Cuban leaders have not done any ‘mea culpa’.


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.