Vietnamese bishop plans to defy 'No Religion Zone'
March 05, 2012
The Bishop of Kontum, Vietnam, has vowed to celebrate Holy Week in an area labeled by local authorities as a “No Religion Zone.”
Bishop Michael Hoang Duc Oanh made his announcement in a pastoral letter following an incident in which a local priest, Father Louis Nguyen Quang Hoa, was beaten after presiding at a funeral in the “No Religion Zone.” The bishop is challenging an edict from local authorities demanding prior approval for any religious activities at the site.
Bishop Duc Oanh has defied similar restrictions in the past. After being refused permission to celebrate Christmas Mass in the Montagnard village of Son Lang, he presided at Easter Mass there, and heard confessions despite the mocking of a hostile crowd. After that Easter celebration the bishop and a priest who accompanied him were taken to a nearby police station for several hours of interrogation.
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