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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 01/14/2010, 00.00


    Dong Chiem is becoming a "Mount of Crosses"

    J.B. An Dang

    The police have poured reinforcements and set up roadblocks to stop the pilgrimages of the faithful to the spot where the crucifix was destroyed, but people still manage to pass and erect other crosses on the hill. Demonstrations and protest.

    Hanoi (AsiaNews) - Dong Chiem is practically under siege, with checkpoints on roads and bridges, set up by new contingents of police who are flowing into the area. This is the response of local authorities to peaceful protests of thousands of Catholics against the blowing up of the cross that stood on the hill, a site that for over a century has belonged to the parish in the town near Hanoi .  

    News of the destruction of the cross and attacks suffered by some Catholics, including journalist JB Nguyen Huu Vinh and father Nguyen Van Lien, of the parish of Dong Chiem, has provoked a demonstration by 2 thousand Catholics from the nearby parish of Nghia. Together with local faithful, they have staged a protest outside the office of the People's Committee.     


    To the efforts of the security forces - and the violence of their gangs of thugs - the faithful respond with pilgrimages where everyone tries to plant a cross next to the bamboo crucifix erected on Nui Tho to replace the one that was destroyed. "We will make this hill a Mountain of the crosses, like the one that Catholics created in Lithuania in Communist times," says a student in Hanoi after his team (pictured) succeeded in planting dozens of crosses on the hill , passing checkpoints and other measures of police seeking to stop the faithful. There are already hundreds of crosses planted on the hill.  
    Since learning of the destruction of the cross, in fact, Catholics of all in northern Vietnam are trying to go to Dong Chiem. And the authorities probably surprised by the magnitude of the reaction, are doing everything to prevent it, while minimizing the number of those who undertake the pilgrimage.    


    Yesterday, for example, as told by Father Joseph Pham Minh Trieu, a group of thousand people, led by him, had to cancel the trip, "the police confiscated the license of all our bus drivers." Hundreds of parishioners at Ham Long, however, used their motorcycles, and passed. Among them was the group of Hanoi students. They reached the summit of Nui Tho, which has become "the mountain of prayer" where they enacted the Way of the Cross. Other faithful managed to arrive by boat.    


    The Bishop of Kon Tum, Mgr. Michael Hoang Duc Oang, unable to go in person to Dong Chiem, sent a letter of support to the Archbishop of Hanoi, Mgr. Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet, in which he writes: "your joy and your pain is also mine." The bishop recalled that he is from the parish of Dong Chiem and that what took place January 6 had a great effect on him.  


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    See also

    18/01/2010 VIETNAM
    The Vietnam News Agency denies Dong Chiem repression and attacks AsiaNews
    The government agency says that AsiaNews reported "defamatory stories” regarding the "removal" of the crucifix. Other government sources say that the cross was destroyed by the faithful. Too bad that it was blown up with explosives, that police beatings stopped the parishioners protests and that bishops are inviting authorities not to encourage "further discontent, anger and distrust among the population"

    12/01/2010 VIETNAM
    In Dong Chiem Catholics beaten, a journalist wounded and a priest threatened
    Attacked by uniformed and plainclothes police, who took his camera, the reporter was abandoned unconscious and bleeding in the street. Solidarity of the bishops of North Vietnam for Father Van Lien, accused by authorities of inducing"the faithful to commit crimes."

    26/02/2010 VIETNAM
    Sisters assaulted and beaten by police in Dong Chiem
    The sisters were attacked by plain clothes police, their guide ends up in hospital. The Bishops conference requests the correction of a news report published by the official agency according to which they had sent New Year greetings to the Patriotic Front, the Communist Party organization.

    15/01/2010 VIETNAM
    Authorities deny attack on the parishioners of Dong Chiem
    The vice president of the local People's Committee said that the cross was destroyed had been built illegally on public land and that the parish has rejected attempts to dialogue. But the archbishop of Hanoi insists that the hill has belonged to the church for more than one hundred years and the head of the Communist Party of Dong Chiem confirms the raid on the faithful.

    09/01/2010 VIETNAM
    Vietnamese bishops accuse the government crackdown on the destruction of the crucifix
    The brutal attack on the crucifix of the cemetery in Hanoi and the destruction of sacred symbols "ingredients of the policies" of the communist regime in resolving disputes. The bishops call for dialogue to find a peaceful solution. The faithful build a new bamboo cross; the police arrest five Catholics and close down the site.

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