Edit: the French Revolutionaries put a prostitute on the altar of Notre Dame. They haven't changed.
Vietnamese Catholics are protesting against the state dispossessing them of their church, 40 persons were violently arrested during the peaceful demonstration.
Hanoi (kath.net/igfm)Five priests of the Redemptorist order and over 30 Catholics of a parish community from Hanoi in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam were arrested on Friday morning. They took part in a peaceful demonstration against the the State dispossessing them of their church. This was reported by the International Society for Human Rights (IGFM).
The Catholics of the Hanoi Parish Thai Ha have been leveled criticisms that the government has attempted to engage in illegal construction activity on their property for years. They fear that the intention behind this is to create a basis to deny the community their property rights.
The present object of contention is the former church of the Redemptorist order which will be used as a hospital and discotheque. In 2008 the government has allowed the property to be transformed into a public park after a nine month disagreement.
All of the written protests of the parish community Thai Ha were unsuccessful, so they are now trying to make their cause noticeable by a public protest. On Friday morning about 100 Catholics submitted a complaint against the illegal building activity on the property of their church to the People's Committee.
During the conclusion of the demonstration on the return march from the People's Committee, they were actually attacked by several persons who wore red armbands and were accompanied by the police. The faithful were corralled on a bus and brought to "Detainment Center Loc Ha", which is actually a home for arrested prostitutes.
Up until the point of the violent resolution, the demonstration was peaceful. On some of the signs could be read: "Please don't make our church into a discotheque!" "Hands off the Property of Religious Communities!", "Stolen Church Buildings Should be Returned!", "Against the Distortion of Reality in Thai Ha of the [State owned] New Hanoi News!", "Article 70 of the Constitution Protects the Property of Religious Communities!". One of the signs showed scenes of Militia Officials who entered the church of Thai Ha and insulted and threatened the pastor.
Among those arrested is the Pastor Giuse Nguyen Van Phunog, the priest Guise Luong Van Long and Vinh Son Vu Van Tuan as well as about 35 seminarians and community members. The IGFM has called upon the Vietnamese government to let those arrested go unconditionally and bring those responsible to justice.
Story taken from the IGFM site, here, in German.