Earlier this week, police dressed in street clothes attacked a group of Vietnamese Catholics when they were attempting to defend a cross they put up on the church’s land. The police threw rocks at them and beat three or four of them. They persisted to go after the church goers and tore at their clothing and dragged them by their hair, making it impossible for the priests and congregants to hold the cross up.
06/30/2017 Vietnam (RFA) – Plainclothes police attacked and beat a group of Catholic priests and their followers in central Vietnam’s Thua Thien Hue province on Wednesday when the group attempted to defend a cross they had put up on land claimed by their church, sources said.
The 8:00 a.m. attack on June 28 was launched when authorities arrived at the Thien An monastery in Hue to take down the cross and saw church members taking their photos as they approached, Thien An priest Khoa Cao Duc Loi told RFA’s Vietnamese Service.
“They threw stones at the priests, and beat three or four of them,” Loi said, adding that their attackers were accompanied by “women and thugs” who helped police to pull down the cross.
“They prevented us from putting it back, and priests held on to the cross while police tore at their shirts and dragged them by their hair,” Loi said.
“Two priests were injured, their eyes were bruised. It was horrible,” he said.
Though the attackers were dressed in civilian clothes, Loi recognized many of them as police officers, he said.