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Vietnamese Catholics, police in standoff at Vinh diocese demonstration

Catholic World News - October 08, 2013

An estimated 50,000 Vietnamese Catholics gathered for Mass at the Thuan Nghia parish in the Diocese of Vinh on October 6, and staged a peaceful protest asking for the release of two parishioners who have spent 2 months in jail without being charged.

While parishioners prayed for the release of the two, who were arrested during protests for religious freedom, police in riot gear conducted training exercises nearby in an obvious effort to intimidate the protesters. The stand-off illustrated the continuing tensions in the Vinh diocese between Catholics and the government. The Catholic Church has been the target of a state propaganda campaign, and police have frequently intervened to curb public protests.

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