» 04/28/2009, 00.00
J.B. An Dang
Two Redemptorists accused of wanting to overthrow Vietnamese government
The accusation, issued by the state-owned media, includes the possibility of the death penalty. At the origin is the protest against a construction project on a plot of land belonging to the parish of Thai Ha, and against a plan to mine bauxite in the high plains, which would cause irreversible damage to the environment and to the population. Buddhists and the legendary general Giap join the criticism.
Opposition to the government’s plans for the Central Highlands is a “patriotic” duty
Redemptorist superior responds to media attacks against two clergymen, saying that “protecting nature and the environment is a necessary condition for human development.” One of the two under attack is on the frontline in the battle for life, something which makes the government unhappy.
New attack on parish of Thai Ha
An official of the people's committe tries to keep the Redemptorists occupied, while members of party organizations attack the chapel of Saint Gerardo. Summoned by bells, phone calls, and e-mails, hundreds of faithful come, and the attackers leave. The operation raises troubling questions.
Prayer vigil in Ho Chi Minh City for parishioners of Thai Ha
5,000 go to the Redemptorist monastery, where a screen displays the faces of the eight faithful who will be tried. University students perform a play about those who were martyred in the attempt to wipe out Catholicism.
Police use sledge hammers on home of lawyer who denounced the Vietnamese premier
The lawyer accused the prime minister of having violated the law, allowing Chinese companies to exploit the bauxite deposits in the Central Highlands. The incident takes place in a climate of violent repression by the authorities also against Catholics, among whom there is a growing concern.
Ho Chi Minh City Redemptorists accused of propaganda against the State
There are fears that priests might become the victims of a new wave of violence. Redemptorists criticise unfair seizures by the government in Hanoi and bauxite mining among the Montagnards of central Vietnam. Communist authorities quote Pope to prove their point but fail to involve the population in dialogue.
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