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Vietnam: government threatens, while state media work to discredit Catholics

September 10, 2008

Communist Party officials are appearing on state-controlled radio and television programs, being introduced as "priests," in the continuing campaign to vilify Catholic activists who are protesting at sites seized by the government from Church ownership. A top official in Hanoi has accused the demonstrators of "belittling the laws and disrupting public order," and threatened "extreme actions" against them. That threat applied specifically to Archbishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet, who has been accused of inciting the protests.

Bishop Francis Nguyen Van Sang of Thai Binh, responding to the threats, warned the government “not to use the sword." The use of force against peaceful demonstrators would be "shameful," he wrote

 


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