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Vietnam Prayer Vigils Push Government to Breaking Point

ICC Note:

The fervent prayers of Christians in Vietnam appear to be shaking the Vietnamese government who is working hard to discredit and slander the Church.

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9/16/08 Vietnam (ChristianToday) Vietnam’s Protestant and Catholic churches have long sought the return of properties seized by the Communist authorities since they came to power. In the north the confiscations date back to the 1950’s, while in the south they date back to 1975.
For years the church’s petitions have been rejected and ignored. Occasionally however the government will offer minimalist appeasement in the hope of silencing Christian leaders and satisfying international observers. However, these “gifts” are then followed by more property confiscations and demolitions, leaving the church feeling frustrated and discouraged.
But things have changed and a new wind is blowing.

As the Catholic prayer vigils grow and spread, Vietnam’s Communist government is working overtime to discredit the churches and their leaders and justify its own intransigence and hostility through disinformation and slander disseminated through the State-run media.
But despite the slander, police violence, threats of arrest, “extreme actions”
and an imminent crackdown, the protests continue day and night in all weather and with growing numbers.
The prayer vigils are pushing the government to breaking point. But will they result in a breakthrough in Church-State relations, or an escalation in violent repression?
The situation is not looking good. The government appears to be closing the door on dialogue, police are being deployed and the State-run media are describing the main prayer vigil in Thai Ha as an “organisational crime” plotted by “hostile forces” against the communist government.

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