Vietnam Catholics Seek Support

Bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop of Vinh Diocese on Vietnam’s north-central coast, has appealed for “international support and solidarity” following violent attacks against Catholics in Nghe An Province on Sept. 4 that left at least 40 people seriously injured. Bishop Nguyen Thai Hop has described the situation for Christians there as “dangerous and worrying.” According to sources inside the country, police and militia used tear gas, electric batons and police dogs to break up a peaceful protest against the arrest and detention of two Catholics from My Yen parish. The two men, Nguyen Van Hai, 43, and Ngo Van Khoi, 53, were arrested on May 22 as men believed to be plainclothes police officers stopped and searched Catholics visiting a shrine in Nghi Phuong Commune. Sources report hundreds of police, military and hired “thugs” beat and chased protesters, smashed religious statues and fired live ammunition into the air.

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