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Viet bishop asks international help to counter government propaganda campaign

Catholic World News - September 18, 2013

Bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop of Vinh, Vietnam, has issued a plea for international support as he faces a campaign of “lies and slander” orchestrated by the government.

In an interview with the AsiaNews service, the bishop underlined the “dangerous and worrying situation” in his diocese, where the Church is under attack and the faithful are fearful after violent assaults by police on peaceful demonstrators. “We want peace, freedom, and dignity of human rights,” the bishop said.

Thousands of Catholics in the northern Vietnamese diocese risked another police raid on September 16 by demonstrating at a shrine close to the place where police clubbed dozens of protesters just a week earlier.

The dispute in the Vinh diocese traces back to requests by Catholic lay people for the release of two human-rights activists who were arrested in June and remain in jail, being held without charges. Government officials had promised that the two men would be released, but have not fulfilled that promise.

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