Tuesday, September 23, 2008
WHAT LOSS OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CAN MEAN
Communist authorities in Hanoi have threatened to take legal action against the city's archbishop unless he immediately disbands illegal prayer vigils to demand the return of former church lands, state media reported Monday.
The government campaign against Archbishop Ngo Quang Kiet escalated over the weekend, with state television calling into question his patriotism in an apparent attempt to turn public opinion against him.
State-controlled newspapers on Monday quoted a letter to Kiet from Hanoi Mayor Nguyen The Thao, accusing the cleric of instigating unrest.
"Stop your illegal acts immediately or you will be dealt with according to the law," Thao was quoted as writing. "You have a responsibility to persuade priests and parishioners to abide by the law."
Prayer is only allowed at church under Vietnamese law. The reports did not specify what form the legal action might take.
Read the article.