Press Release: The government authority mobilized the secret police and mobs to destroy the Holy Cross, beating and insulting members of the Thien An Monastery.

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GNsP (01.07.2017) – Press Release: The government authority mobilized the secret police and mobs to destroy the Holy Cross, beating and insulting members of the Thien An Monastery.

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The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hue

The Thien An Monastery

Cu Chanh, Thua Thien-Hue Province

Viet Nam

PRESS RELEASE

Subject: The government authority mobilized the secret police and mobs to destroy the Holy Cross, beating and insulting members of the Thien An Monastery.

Fact:  Around 08.00 AM on June, 28, 2017, for the third time in a short period, the local authorities mobilized about 200 secret police disguised as the local mobs and civilians to enter the Monastery’s property without permission.  They attacked members of the Monastery who defend the Monastery’s land that the government had planned to confiscate.

The attackers used all kinds of manmade objects, including iron bars, shovels, axes, hammers, crowbars, and wooden batons to attack the Monks with no mercy. They also destroyed the holy statues, and at one point tried to remove the Holy Cross standing in the property. (At the very same place on May, 17, 2015, the security forces in plain clothes removed and threw away a Holy Cross which was installed by the Monks previously.)

All of these activities happened in broad daylight, and were witnessed by the local authorities who stood by as onlookers. Among the wounded Monks on the June 28th attack was Rev. Vo Van Giao who received a series of hits on the head by a security agent named Nguyen Viet Chinh. Agent Chinh was assigned to watch the Monks’ activities in the disputed land.

The Monastery strongly denounced the latest government’s action in violating the property rights and human rights of its citizens. The Monks protested the government backed thugs who attacked and insulted the Monks with foul language in the presence of government officials.

Once again, the Priests and brothers of the Monastery reaffirmed that they are the sole owners of the land, building complex, and pine trees that were planted on the 107 hectares of land in 1940, when the Monastery was formed and installed by the Roman Catholic Church in Viet Nam, and was later recognized by the Holy See.

And since then, they have never surrendered their rights to anyone, including the governments.

Members of this Monastery reaffirmed their commitment to protect the land and the property at all cost. We have reported the latest development to the highest Catholic Church authority in the Vatican and the Bishop Council of the Vietnamese Catholic Church.

We called upon all peace and justice loving governments around the world, the International Human Rights Organizations, and the Freedom of Religion defenders to protect us from harassment by the Vietnamese government.

We requested the government authorities of the Thua Thien-Hue province to stop all the on-going land grabbing efforts.

On the day of St. Peter Apostle, June 29, 2017

Rev ANTOINE NGUYEN VAN ĐUC

(Superior of Thien An Monastery)