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Today:
  • Vietnam: Clinton Should Spotlight Internet Freedom , -- posted on 31 Aug 2012
  • Vietnamese Catholics demonstrate despite government threats, -- posted on 19 Jul 2012
  • Blogger Slashed by Thugs, -- posted on 14 Jul 2012
  • Vietnam: Free Catholic Activists, -- posted on 23 May 2012
  • Vietnamese Blogger Dieu Cay, -- posted on 21 Apr 2012
  • Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.: “We admire the commitment of the Province of Vietnam..., -- posted on 18 Nov 2011
  • Press Release: On the abuse of social media system, police and gangs by the communist government of Vietnam against Thai Ha Parish, -- posted on 15 Nov 2011
  • Following the Lord on the path of the Cross, renews our way of thinking, says Pope, -- posted on 31 Aug 2011
  • Cau Ram: thousands of Catholics protest against property seizures, -- posted on 16 Aug 2011
  • Reporters Without Borders: French-vietnamese blogger sentenced to three years in prison, -- posted on 15 Aug 2011
  • Public frustrations soar in Vietnam, -- posted on 05 Aug 2011
  • AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL URGENT ACTION VIETNAMESE BLOGGER "LOSES ARM" IN PRISON , -- posted on 02 Aug 2011
  • Return of Father Nguyen Van Ly to Prison, -- posted on 29 Jul 2011
  • Vietnam: U.S. Ships to Join Exercises, Raising Objections from China, -- posted on 20 Jul 2011
  • Hanoi archbishop protests convent demolition, -- posted on 26 May 2011
  • Vietnam unleashes wave of repression against Hmong Christians, at least 49 dead, -- posted on 16 May 2011
  • Amnesty International Annual Report 2011, -- posted on 16 May 2011
  • Vietnam: 14 Die as Troops Converge On Hmong, -- posted on 10 May 2011
  • Soldiers sent to free kidnapped officials in Vietnam, -- posted on 07 May 2011
  • Vietnam: Ethnic Hmong 'in mass protest in Dien Bien', -- posted on 07 May 2011
  • Ethnic Hmong hold mass protest in Vietnam, -- posted on 07 May 2011
  • Vietnam quashes rare Hmong uprising, -- posted on 07 May 2011
  • Vietnamese Catholics beaten, arrested for supporting human rights lawyer, -- posted on 04 May 2011
  • My revived hatred of communism, -- posted on 18 Feb 2011
  • Vietnamese Catholics bury aborted fetuses, -- posted on 29 Dec 2010
  • More trouble for Vietnam's Redemptorists: monastery turned into state office, -- posted on 26 Dec 2010
  • New wave of harassment against Redemptorists in Vietnam, -- posted on 17 Dec 2010
  • Vietnam's land management system prone to corruption, experts say, -- posted on 29 Nov 2010
  • KonTum Bishop committed to bring The Words to remote regions despite local scrutiny , -- posted on 18 Nov 2010
  • Vietnam youths go online to promote chastity, -- posted on 18 Nov 2010
  • Congressman criticizes conviction of six Catholics in Vietnam as ‘sham court’, -- posted on 04 Nov 2010
  • Heavy sentences against faithful of Con Dau - Catholics protest injustice , -- posted on 27 Oct 2010
  • Former enemies US, Vietnam now military mates , -- posted on 09 Aug 2010
  • Human Rights Watch honours 6 Vietnamese dissident writers who faced political persecution, -- posted on 06 Aug 2010
  • In Visit, Clinton Criticizes Vietnam on Rights, -- posted on 24 Jul 2010
  • Vinh Long nuns keep fighting for justice and truth , -- posted on 15 Jul 2010
  • Vatican moves upset Viet local Church leaders , -- posted on 06 Jul 2010
  • Pope to appoint groundbreaking representative to Vietnam, -- posted on 06 Jul 2010
  • Vietnam: Provincial government tightens its grip on freedom of religion , -- posted on 23 Jun 2010
  • Vietnam, US hold security, defense dialogue, -- posted on 09 Jun 2010

    
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  • Vietnam: Police watch Christians fall into the sea
    Victims were warned to stay away from a church located on land that local authorities want to use to build a tourist complex

    As part of their intimidatory action police "turned their backs” on four Catholics whose boat sank off the coast of central Vietnam near Hue; "one even tried to prevent their rescue,” said Fr Peter Nguyen Huu Giai. The incident occurred last Monday near the church in An Bang parish, in Vinh An, a village in Thua Thien province, Hue archdiocese.

    The church is not a real building; it is only a cross and altar set in the ground. The land on which they stand belonged to a parishioner, Mr Le Khinh, who died a few years ago. Both he and his children had agreed to have the "church” built for Vinh An parishioners, who are mostly poor fishermen and farmers. "His children are still the land’s legal owners,” Father Peter said.

    Things turned ugly when Vinh An authorities decided they wanted to turn the area in a tourist resort following the death of the congregation’s benefactor. Back in October they issued a removal order for cross and altar, claiming that the area as public land.

    The parish priest rejected the order, demanding the authorities show a proof of ownership.

    The controversy echoes similar happenings in Hanoi and Vinh Long where local authorities have seized Church property.

    Here too the tug-of-war between Catholics and local authorities involves a campaign of intimidation and harassment on the latter’s part.

    For example, "at 5.30 every morning loudspeakers blare out the government religious policies, saying how much it respects the Catholic Church,” Father Peter said. "Many parishioners have also been summoned to appear before the authorities,” he added.

    On Monday "when parishioners were meeting in church to prepare for Christmas, hundreds of policemen swarmed the area to seal it off,” the parish priest said. "They told me and the members of my congregation that we were not allowed to celebrate Christmas here.”

    Upon hearing about what was happening, many faithful rushed to the place. At 12.15 a boat carrying four Catholics overturned in the waters. The police saw it but did nothing. "One even tried to prevent their rescue,” Father Peter said.

    Other faithful "jumped into the sea and saved them, but everyone was taken aback by the authorities’ behaviour.”

    Now the latter have set up three police booths near the altar where officers can tape people coming to Mass.

    Spero News

    Posted on 19 Dec 2008


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