Viet government officials deny blowing up crucifix, block Catholic sites
January 19, 2010
Vietnamese government officials have denied reports that they used explosives to remove a crucifix from the disputed grounds of a Catholic cemetery in Dong Chiem. The crucifix was removed during a raid on January 6, during which police attacked parishioners, causing several serious injuries.
The government-controlled State News Agency charged that media sources outside Vietnam were engaged in “distortion, false accusation, and agitation against Vietnam authorities.” As a consequence the government has blocked access to several Catholic web sites, including Catholic World News.
In a related development, Catholic parishioners in Bau Sen, where a statue of the Virgin Mary was destroyed by government officials last November, have been informed that they will be billed for the cost of demolition.