07/09/2012, 00.00
VIETNAM
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Some 10,000 Catholics and non-Catholics pray for Vinh victims

by Paul N. Hung
People take part in peaceful demonstrations and prayer vigils across the country. Their thoughts also go to the Communist Party, urging its leaders to respect religious freedom because without it, development in Vietnam is impossible.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) - More than 10,000 Catholics and non-Catholics prayed for the victims of the attack against the community of Con Cuông (Vinh Diocese) and for the many young Catholics arrested and held in custody. Their action comes in the wake of the violent attack on 1 July, which casts a dark shadow on religious freedom in Vietnam. Despite constitutional guarantees, the latter is increasingly violated by the authorities, especially true in rural areas, where a religious revival is underway, especially among Christians, after decades of atheistic and Communist indoctrination.

Last night, many Catholic communities, including Cầu Rầm, Bội Đà, Thuận Giang, Ngọc Long, Văn Hạnh, and Redemptorists in Saigon and Hanoi organised prayer vigils in their respective parishes on behalf of young Catholics arrested and jailed by the authorities.

People also prayed for the Communist Party, that it might understand the import of its actions, and respect once again human rights as well as build peace and seek a balanced development for the country.

A few days ago, ordinary Vietnamese showed their solidarity towards Catholics in Con Cuông. On Friday, every parish in Vinh Diocese organised a peaceful protest. Banners were raised. One said, "In opposition to the authorities in Con Cuông, officials and armed people who have violated Vietnamese law and beat up priests and believers".

The following evening, parishes in Vinh Diocese, also lighted candles on behalf of their brothers and sisters, victims of aggression, and for all those who have been persecuted fighting for justice.

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