• 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
  • 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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  • In Saigon children sing Christmas carols, say prayers for justice and peace
    Children from a local parish take to the streets every evening, surrounded by people. A survey weighs the importance the family and the environment have on young people’s upbringing. For the bishop of Vinh Long "power seems to prevail over justice and one’s conscience,” exerting its negative influence.

    Saigon (AsiaNews) -- Every evening during the Christmas break hundreds of children aged 8 to 12 from Saigon’s Binh An Thuong parish walk down Pham The Hien Street, singing Christmas carols and praying for peace, justice and truth in Vietnam, surrounded by large crowds, mostly Buddhists or ancestor worshippers.

    In the Saigon parents are faced today with the challenge of their children’s moral upbringing. Mr Le, a high school teacher, told AsiaNews that a survey on parents’ education and the environment’s effect on children in the city, showed that 26 per cent of respondents live in peaceful areas compared to 21.7 per cent who reside in noisy quarrel-prone areas; at the same time, 32.6 per cent said that adults take care of their children compared to 19.6 who said they did not. The sample included some 150 participants. A child’s environment is thus crucial for his or her upbringing.

    About 52.2 per cent of parents believe that if children are raised in a good environment, they will grow up well. If not children will end up picking up the bad habits of adults and the wider environment, habits like lying, unfairness, cheating (on exams or forged degrees, for example), etc.

    "We are concerned about the moral education of our children and the impact of their environment, said Ms Hang, who took part in a parenthood counselling class offered by the Archdiocese of Saigon. "Caring for our children is only one aspect of reality. There are also bad influences like bad friends, unfairness in life and lies that shape children’s developmental process,” she said.

    "Perhaps I am but a 'voice in the desert’ (Mt, 3:3), 'tieng keu trong sa mac’ in Vietnamese, said Mgr Nguyen Van Tan, bishop of Vinh Long as he, too, contemplated the apparent loss of meaning in today’s life.

    "Today power seems to prevail over justice and one’s conscience, especially at a time when materialism overwhelms morality, charity and justice,” he said. "Still I must raise my voice so that future generations will not condemn us as those who had eyes but could not see, had ears but did not hear and had a mouth but dared not to speak.”

    Around the world everyone is beginning to celebrate Christmas but many in Vietnam are experiencing anxiety, feeling threatened and enduring discrimination in their environment.

    Let us pray fir instance for the sisters, priests and parishioners of Thai Ha as well as the parents and children of the Church of Vietnam.

    Let us pray for the Sisters of the Congregation of Saint Paul who had their house torn down by the authorities in Vinh Long to give way to a hotel, thrown out even though they worked, prayed and provided social and pastoral assistance to orphans.

    The authorities have failed to understand the sisters and have instead condemned them, claiming that "for 31 years they have educated unlucky children to be a counterrevolutionary force opposed to the Revolution and the country’s freedom.”

    Yet it is not so. Vietnamese Catholics have worked and contributed to the overall development of children and teenagers as well as of the country as a whole.

    Posted on 25 Dec 2008

    Vietnam News