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01/11/2019 Vietnam (International Christian Concern) – State officials in southern Vietnam demolished more than 100 homes in a predominantly Catholic area, starting on January 8.

UCA News reports that in the predominately Catholic Loc Hu’ng in Tay Ninh province were given minimal warnings about the demolitions. A Redemptorist-owned house was among the destroyed buildings that was home to 18 war veterans who lost limbs in the Vietnam War. They have no relatives and sell lottery tickets for a living.

Veterans said police forced them to immediately evacuate and take their belongings with them before demolition of the building began, no notice was given about the demolition; some did not even have time to take their prosthetic limbs and crutches with them.

State-run Tuoi tre newspaper reported Tan Binh district authorities “completely knocked down 112 illegally built houses.” District officials accused local people of trading the land illegally and said the government planned to use the land to build schools and public facilities.

Redemptorist Fr. Anthony Le Ngoc Thanh, leader of a Vietnamese injured veterans program, said the house was built on a 220-square-meter plot, which the Redemptorists bought from a local family who had lived there for long time.

Land owned by the Paris Foreign Mission Society since 1954 was also seized, according to Asia News.

The seizing of Catholic church land and properties by the communist government has been an ongoing issue in Vietnam.

For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].