Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Vietnamese Catholics hold vigils for return of church land

Hundreds of Vietnamese Catholics gathered across Hanoi over the weekend, holding prayer vigils in a renewed plea for the return of the church land seized by the government in the 1950s, Agence France-Presse reported Sunday.

”Priests and Catholic followers lit candles, placed flowers and sang at the iron fence around a property near Hanoi’s central St Joseph's Cathedral after Saturday prayers and Sunday masses,” the article reported. ”They say the large French-colonial villa and the 1.1 hectares (2.7 acre) it sits on are the former office of the Vatican’s delegate to Hanoi, confiscated by the state when he was expelled in the late 1950s.”

As the article notes, ”Vietnam, a former French colony and a unified, communist country since the war ended in 1975, has Southeast Asia’s largest Catholic community after the Philippines – about six million out of a population of 84 million.”

For the full article, click here.



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