The incident occurred on 6 April. The pastor said police and soldiers fired shots near the church and used tear gas and batons against parishioners, before they tore down decorations from the site.
Hanoi (AsiaNews) – Three Catholics were injured during in a clash with security forces in Houng Phuong, a village in Quang Binh province (central Vietnam),Radio Free Asia reported.
On Wednesday, police and soldiers fired bullets near the church and used tear gas and batons on the parishioners before tearing down decorations erected for an annual festival.
“It was noon time and most of the men were at work, so only old women and children were at home,” local priest Fr Le Nam Cao told RFA.
“Parishioners told me of the crackdown. I told them that I would not go out and they should go home and just let them do whatever they wanted because we had no weapons, so it was not good for us.”
Whilst Fr Le Nam Cao tried to convince his parishioners to stand down, some of them ignored his advice.
“Some people did not agree, so they fought back against the troops including policemen and soldiers who were well equipped with tear gas, bullets and batons,” the priest said.
“This is not the first time authorities have clashed with church parishioners, but usually it comes in the form of individual harassment,” Le Nam Cao explained.
“There were times they sent troops here to guard our village for two days. When they came here before they said they were searching for some drug dealers or something else. They did not say that they were cracking down on us. “
About 48 per cent of Vietnam's 87 million people is Buddhist, and 7 per cent is Catholic.
Although a small minority, Christians are particularly active in education, health and social affairs.
However, religious freedom has steadily eroded in recent years. Under Decree 92, more controls and restrictions have been imposed on religious practice, boosting the power of the Communist Party and the one-party state.
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MOTHER OF ST. JAMES THE LESS AND JOSEPH
Feast: April 9
This title occurs only in John, xix, 25. A comparison of the lists of those who stood at the foot of the cross would seem to identify her with Mary, the mother of James the Less and Joseph (Mark 15:40; cf. Matthew 27:56). Some have indeed tried to identify her with the Salome of Mark, xv, 40, but St. John's reticence concerning himself and his relatives seems conclusive against this (cf. John 21:2). In the narratives of the Resurrection she is named "Mary of James"; (Mark 16:1; Luke 24:10) and "the other Mary" (Matthew 27:61; 28:1). The title of "Mary of James" is obscure. If it stood alone, we should feel inclined to render it "wife of (or sister of) James", but the recurrence of the expression "Mary the mother of James and Joseph" compels us to render it in the same way when we only read "Mary of James". Her relationship to the Blessed Virgin is obscure. James is termed "of Alpheus", i.e. presumably "son of Alpheus". St. Jerome would identify this Alpheus with Cleophas who, according to Hegesippus, was brother to St. Joseph (Hist. eccl., III, xi). In this case Mary of Cleophas, or Alpheus, would be the sister-in-law of the Blessed Virgin, and the term "sister", adelphe, in John, xix, 25, would cover this. But there are grave difficulties in the way of this identification of Alpheus and Cleophas. In the first place, St. Luke, who speaks of Cleophas (xxiv, 18), also speaks of Alpheus (6:15; Acts 1:13). We may question whether he would have been guilty of such a confused use of names, had they both referred to the same person. Again, while Alphas is the equivalent of the Aramaic, it is not easy to see how the Greek form of this became Cleophas, or more correctly Clopas. More probably it is a shortened form of Cleopatros. Source: Catholic Encyclopedia