The first Reading of Easter Sunday III-year B extracted from
The Acts of Apostles makes us really stunned. Peter was among his Jewish
people, spoke to them firmly, reminded them of Jesus’ case and accused them, “You
rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a
murderer. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And
we are witnesses of this fact ! You killed the author of life” ( cf. Acts 3, 15
Peter did not grumble or blame anyone, but it seems to us
that Peter was sorrowfully talking to everyone, even to himself, because Peter
was a confederate in the injustice Death of Jesus. In that way, Peter not only
talked to the Jewish two thousand years ago, but also to each of us nowadays.
Catholic bishops in Vietnam are calling for peaceful dialogue amid
ongoing persecutions against Catholics in the diocese of Vinh and the
government’s unwillingness to settle disputes with Catholics peacefully.
In an editorial published on VietCatholic News on Aug. 12, Vietnam
Conference of Catholic Bishops has expressed bishops’ growing concerns
on the tensions caused by recent land disputes between Catholics and
local authorities, and the extreme way these disputes have been handled.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Communism’s defeat in
Central-East Europe. As many remember the tumbling of Communist regimes
in countries such as Poland, East Germany, and Hungary, others will
recall Marxism’s terrible legacy: millions of dead and tortured,
“reeducation” and labor camps, show-trials, unparalleled economic
destruction, and the worst environmental devastation in history.
As the recently deceased ex-Marxist philosopher Leszek Kolakowski
concluded in his magisterial multi-volume Main Currents of Marxism,
this was not accidental. It was Marxist philosophy’s logical outcome.
By definition, no political program built upon an explicitly
materialist viewpoint can consider itself limited by the idea of an
innate human dignity, or anything suggesting a
more-than-flesh-and-blood dimension to human life.
The persecution of Christians in Vinh is intended to divert
attention from internal party divisions but it is also a sign of the
profound contempt it is capable of, and of its willingness, in line
with new economic ideas to sell out the country to its traditional
enemy, China. The Church, which plays a role in raising consciousness,
and Montagnard converts are condemned to disappear.
(AsiaNews) -- On July 20, 2009 police in Quang Binh province launched a
surprised attack on the unarmed parishioners of Tam Toa -- a struggling
parish in the diocese of Vinh, Central Vietnam. Local Catholics were
erecting a makeshift tent as a temporary place for liturgical services.
The assault resulted in hundreds being injured, and dozens being taken
away in police vehicles and detained indefinitely.
On July 20, 2009 police in Quang Binh province launched a surprised attack on the unarmed parishioners of Tam Toa - a struggling parish of the diocese of Vinh in Central Vietnam - when these Catholics were erecting a makeshift tent as a temporary place for worshiping services. The assault resulted in hundreds being injured, and dozens were taken away in police vehicles and detained indefinitely.
A week later, the diocese of Vinh reported that two Catholic priests had been beaten brutally by plain clothed police and government's hired thugs.
The entire diocese of Vinh, with half a million Catholics, held
massive protests again on Sunday Aug 02, 2009, demanding an end to
overt persecutions against Catholics in Dong Hoi, the requisition of
Church and individual properties seized illegally by police, and an
immediate halt to the ongoing distortion of truth, defamation of
religion, and promotion of hatred between Catholics and non-Catholics
via state media.
Carrying banners denouncing the brutal
violence of the local government of Dong Hoi against priests, religious
and faithful, Catholics from 178 parishes of the diocese of Vinh
marched with sheer determination on the streets while other dioceses
throughout the country simultaneously observing minutes of silence to
pray for and stand in solidarity with victims of police and government
contracted --gangsters, and the safety of Catholics in the region of
General Hoang Cong Tu, from the Ministry for Public Security has denied
there has been any violence against priests from Dong Hoi, and the
police have rejected as "false" criticism from the Diocese of Vinh,
that accuses the police of having beaten priests and faithful.
Facing the wake of overt persecutions, Catholics start fleeing out of Dong Hoi city for their safety.
Police and pro-government thugs in the city of Dong Hoi, located at around 500 km (310 mi) South of Hanoi, are at war with Catholics. Numerous Catholics’ homes have reportedly been raided and a few people have been arrested. In a particular case, “Mr. Nguyen Cong Ly whose house often used by parishioners of Tam Toa for worshipping services was arrested on Tuesday,” said Fr. Vo Thanh Tam, chief secretary of the College of Priests of Vinh Diocese. Local witnesses said that during the police search at Ly’ home, a gang of thugs, surrounding his house, yelled out anti-Catholic slogans suggesting his death.
J.B. An Dang VietCatholic News (26 Jul 2009 13:29)
In unprecedented event after the communist takeover of Vietnam, half
million Vietnamese Catholics joined in huge protests demanding the
justice for victims who were assaulted brutally by police in central
costal province of Vinh as they were trying to rebuild their worship