22 February 2018

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09/24/2009 VIETNAM

Hue archbishop slams police for violence in Loan Ly

Mgr Étienne Nguyên Nhu Thê is outraged and bewildered by the ‘arbitrariness and violence” shown by the authorities in relation to an issue involving a religious group that was handled without consulting religious leaders.

Hue (AsiaNews/EdA) – Mgr Étienne Nguyên Nhu Thê, archbishop of Hue, issued a strongly-worded official protest against police brutality in Loan Ly Parish. In a letter addressed to the diocese, the archbishop said that he personally visited the Religious Affairs Bureau (in Thua Thien-Hue Province), whilst the auxiliary bishop, Mgr François-Xavier Lê Van Hông, visited the victimised parish to show his solidarity. He also called on all Christians to pray for the victims.

“When the affair broke out in Loan Ly on 13 September, the diocese’s two bishops were on a religious mission outside the country,” said the letter, which was translated by Églises d’Asie. “When they arrived back in Hue they got in touch with the priest in charge of the Hai Van deanery and the priest responsible for Loan Ly Parish.”

What transpired was that on the night of 13 and 14 September, security agents and some thugs surrounded the parish compound (pictured) and, using violence and cruelty, cleared a school used for catechism, and erected a ring-wall around it.

On hearing what was happening, local Christians rushed to their parish church, which the government had seized in 1975, to resist the brutal assault by the police, which they were able to do for two days.

“With a delegation, the archbishop arrived at the offices of the Religious Affairs Bureau for the province of Thua Thien-Hue at 10 am, 22 September, outraged and bewildered by the arbitrariness and violence of the authorities in a matter involving a religious community, an issue that they handled without consulting local religious leaders.”

“The following day the auxiliary bishop, at the helm of another delegation, visited the faithful of Loan Ly Parish to encourage and mobilise them.”

“The Archdiocese of Hue as a whole shares the suffering of the priest responsible for the faithful of Loan Ly Parish. It calls on all Catholics in the diocese to be close to the parish in their prayers, so that justice and truth may be respected in our beloved homeland, Vietnam.”

“As Saint Francis’ prayer teaches us, we must under all circumstances live according to the spirit of Christ: “Where there is hatred, let me sow love / where there is injury, pardon / where there is doubt, faith / where there is despair, hope / where there is darkness, light”.

See also

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12/09/2008 VIETNAM
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".

03/08/2016 11:45:00 VIETNAM
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About 700 workers clashed with plainclothes officers who blocked the streets of the city. New facility under construction for past two months and prevents fishing nearby. The government gives insufficient compensation to fishermen.

28/07/2009 VIETNAM
Priest beaten into a coma by police. Catholics Protest throughout Vietnam
Thousands of the faithful take part in demonstrations and prayer vigils in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The priest in a coma was beaten and then hurled from the 2nd floor of a hospital. Another was savagely beaten while 30 policemen stood by watching. The Diocese of Vinh publicly denounces the episode.

08/10/2008 VIETNAM
At a difficult time for Vietnamese Church, ordination of bishop of Bac Ninh
Thousands of faithful have celebrated with Bishop Hoang Van Dat, in recent weeks one of the targets of the disinformation campaign by authorities. Human Rights Watch asks the government to put an end to the violence against Catholics, and to release those who have been arrested.

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