» 07/28/2009, 00.00
J.B. An Dang
Priest beaten into a coma by police. Catholics Protest throughout Vietnam
Thousands of the faithful take part in demonstrations and prayer vigils in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The priest in a coma was beaten and then hurled from the 2nd floor of a hospital. Another was savagely beaten while 30 policemen stood by watching. The Diocese of Vinh publicly denounces the episode.
Death threats against believers in Dong Hoi, as the police arrest a Catholic
The Catholic arrested used his home for religious gatherings. The government of Quang Binh wants to eliminate Catholics from its territory.
More protest vigils in the diocese of Vinh. Difficult glimmers of dialogue with the government
A candlelight vigil throughout the 178 parishes of the diocese of Vinh to demand an end to violence against Catholics and the release of 3 faithful kept in prison. The government of Quang Binh invites representatives of the clergy to speak, but there are fears for the safety of the priests.
A Con Dau Catholic dies shortly after being released by police
Nguyen Nam was one of the faithful arrested, harassed and beaten since last May, following protests raised by the authorities' decision to use the area of the ancient cemetery of the village to build a tourist centre.
Fr. Nguyen Van Ly suffers a stroke in prison
The priest, a symbol of the struggle for religious freedom and democracy in Vietnam is semi-paralyzed, but can speak and responds to treatment. He was admitted to the military hospital in Hanoi and is being followed by the chief of cardiology. Family members report that he is "well treated" and "thanks" the doctors.
Hanoi denies attacks on priests. The diocese of Vinh publishes photos
One priest is still in coma; the other is improving. The Ministry of Public Security has decided to prosecute seven Catholics from Tam Toa, guilty of having hoisted a tent as a temporary place of prayer. Hanoi calls for "calm" in the diocese of Vinh. But Catholics are asking that the seven are released. The police claim the complaints of the diocese are "totally false".
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