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Vietnamese authorities step up campaign to control Catholic Church

Catholic World News - September 23, 2013

Vietnamese authorities have stepped up their campaign against the Catholic Church. In Hanoi, public officials are planning to seize more land from the Redemptorist order, while in Saigon state-owned media outlets are giving prominent attention to a meeting of a “patriotic” Catholic association.

Parishioners in the Thai Ha parish, administered by Redemptorist priests, are protesting what they insist is an illegal seizure of land. The Redemptorists have clashed with government officials repeatedly about the expropriation of property, which has been continuing piecemeal for years.

In Saigon, local television crews have given extensive coverage to the Vietnam Committee for Solidarity of Catholics, a pro-government group set up by the Communist Party in 1955 with the goal of establishing a “patriotic Church” after the model established by the Chinese Communist Party. Catholics suspicious of the group were concerned to see that 500 priests, religious, and lay people attended the 2-day meeting of the state-sponsored group.

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