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Hanoi Archbishop threatened to be arrested, gang ransacked Redemptorists' chapel
Hanoi People's Committee has just released a statement falsely accused Hanoi Archbishop and threated to punish him severly. Street gang backed by police ransacked a Redemptorists' chapel this morning.

thai haState media on Sunday evening carried a statement from Nguyen The Thao, the chairman of People's Committee of Hanoi City in which he accused Archbishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet of inciting riots, falsely accusing the government, ridiculing the law, and disrespecting the nation.

Posted on 23 Sep 2008
Vietnam: massive protests as state demolishes nunciature, besieges Church buildings
Thousands of Catholics demonstrated in Hanoi yesterday, after the authorities began to demolish the Apostolic Nunciature and lay siege to several more church buildings.

In what was the largest protest since the Communist takeover in 1954, Bishop Joseph Dang Duc Ngan of Lang Son and hundreds of priests led a march of more than ten thousand through the city to the nunciature where they set up an altar and statue of Our Lady in the street.

The site has been surrounded by rolls of barbed wire and a police cordon with dogs. Inside hundreds of men worked round the clock to pull down the building and construct a library and a park while protesters sang hymns and prayed outside.
Posted on 23 Sep 2008
Urgent Letter of Appeal of The Federation of Vietnamese Catholic Mass Media
The Federation of Vietnamese Catholic Mass Media
Urgent Letter of Appeal
To: The Clergy, Religious, Faithful, Journalists, Peace Lovers and Fellow Justice Supporters

Dear Brothers, sisters, friends, and colleagues,

We are writing this letter to express our deep concerns about recent religious and human rights violations against Catholics by Vietnam government. As we are writing this letter to you, Hanoi archbishop's residence, St. Joseph Major Seminary, and the convent of Sisters of Adorers of the Holy Cross are still being under siege by Vietnamese massive forces of armed policemen, militiamen and security personnel aided by professionally trained dogs.

Before sunrise on Friday morning, Sep. 19, hundreds of police had assembled in front of the archbishop's residence in Hanoi, blocking access to the residence, the cathedral, and all roads leading to the nearby nunciature. Bulldozers were brought into the area and began digging out the lawn of the nunciature. Later on, at 6 am, after police and demolition workers were in place, on state-controlled television and radio stations came the announcement that the government had decided to demolish the building, to convert the land into a public playground.
Posted on 23 Sep 2008
By attacking Catholics over Thai Ha, state media risk dividing Vietnamese
The newspapers deride the Hmong minority women who have taken part in the prayer vigils. But this risks creating opposition between Catholics and non-Catholics. Rumors of more arrests to come.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) - There is a risk of creating deep divisions in the country with the campaign of mockery that the Vietnamese government press is conducting toward the Hmong Catholics - an ethnic minority of about 800,000, who live in the northern part of the country - describing them as superstitious, naive, docile, and childish.

At the origin of the attacks that the media have been making since Monday are the 16 Hmong women (in the photo) who traveled 38 miles from Van Nghia, in the province of Hoa Binh, to take part in the prayer vigils being held on the land of the parish of Thai Ha, which the Catholics are asking be given back. The women brought with them the large brass gongs and other musical instruments that the Hmong use on special occasions, and especially when they want to draw attention to their complaints. The Catholic Hmong - who are numerous, like in other ethnic minorities - have actively taken part in the demonstrations in Hanoi, beginning with the ones for the restitution of the building of the former nunciature.
Posted on 17 Sep 2008
Vietnam: State media make dead people speak
After the reveal by Bishop Anthony Vu Huy Chuong of Hung Hoa on cases in which people masquerading as priests and lay Catholics were employed in state media to discredit the Church, other dioceses have launched counter-attacks on state media's ...

Posted on 17 Sep 2008
Facing possible arrest, bishop of Thai Binh says goodbye to faithful
The prelate says he is guilty of the same "sins" that the police have used to charge the first arrestees. Seven members of the faithful have been jailed, according to the pastor of the parish of Thai Ha. But the prayer vigils continue, and bishops continue to arrive in a demonstration of "communion".

Mass at the land of dispute

Thousands gathering to pray daily

Posted on 13 Sep 2008
Urgent appeal of VietCatholic News to journalists around the world
Dear friends and colleagues,

We are writing this letter to express our deep concerns about the harassment-turned-persecution against Catholic journalists in Hanoi stemming from a seemingly ordinary land dispute between Redemptorists/parishioners versus the local government of Vietnam. We have been deeply troubled by recent religious and human rights violations against the said religious order, Catholic faithful who have been assembling since January of this year for peaceful prayer vigils at the site in dispute, and now the journalists who have been working around the clock to report what's truly happening at this site to their fellow Christians and Catholic agencies, helping us to see an accurate picture of which right and principle the Redemptorist and proud parishioners of Thai Ha stand for, a far cry from what has been distortionally portrayed by the state-owned media.
Posted on 13 Sep 2008
Bishop denounces the lying of state-run media
Bishop of Hung Hoa urges everyone to pray more intensely for Thai Ha and the Church in Vietnam at this difficult time accusing the state-run media of lying.

In a Letter of Communion sent to the Provincial Superior of the Redemptorists in Vietnam and the Superior of Thai Ha Monastery, dated Sep. 9, Bishop Anthony Vu Huy Chuong of Hung Hoa gives his full support for Vietnamese Redemptorists in their effort to regain their land in Thai Ha -- Hanoi.

"I have prayed," writes Bishop Anthony Vu, "for justice and the truth may be honored not only in Thai Ha but also in anywhere that people still have to suffer injustice and dishonesty," complaining that his diocese is not an exception.

"Recently," Bishop Anthony Vu illustrates, "the pastor of Can Kiem parish confirmed with me that the man who spoke on state television against Thai Ha on behalf of Can Kiem parishioners is in fact a local government official -- not a Catholic at all."
Posted on 09 Sep 2008
Vietnamese Bishops join mass prayer protests
In a clear demonstration of solidarity, The Bishops of Hai Phong and Thai Binh visited Thai Ha and joined more than 6,000 Catholics demonstrating for the return of confiscated church property on Friday. The Bishops of Lang Son and Phat Diem arrived on Saturday to take part.

On Friday, Bishop Joseph Vu Van Thien, from Hai Phong Diocese, travelled 100 km to Hanoi to give his support to protestors. He was accompanied by hundreds of Catholics, and dozens of priests and religious of his diocese.

"In these days," said Bishop Joseph Vu leading a procession to the site, "media coverages have bewildered, and confused Catholics and non-Catholics. There have been so many news reports defaming the reputation and dignity of Catholics. Let us pray so that everybody knows how to respect the truth and defend justice."
Posted on 09 Sep 2008
Catholics assert themselves in Hanoi land dispute
HANOI, Vietnam -- At a vacant lot in downtown Hanoi, Catholics have gathered to worship the Virgin Mary _ and pressure the communist authorities.

For the second time this year, the city's Catholics have taken the extraordinary step of occupying state-controlled land that once belonged to the church. Their gatherings are putting pressure on a government eager to project religious tolerance but determined to maintain political control and public order.
Posted on 09 Sep 2008

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