Rome - "We are very unpleased with the unjust accusations of being 'instigators of disorder', as has been stated in some Vietnamese media sources. I wish the world knew that the Redemptorists in Vietnam have a presence of peace. They work for the good of the people, praying and living in service to the Gospel. I have asked the brothers in Vietnam to pray for reconciliation and to invite the faithful to do so at the end of every liturgical celebration," Fr. Michael Brehl, Superior General of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, told Agenzia Fides following widespread accusations against the Redemptorists in Vietnam.

He continues, saying: "We have been in Vietnam for a century to serve the people of God, celebrating the sacraments, through apostolate, social services, and education: Our mission is always to bring peace."

Fr. Michael adds: "We are, however, concerned about the current situation. We hope there is no further escalation of violence," after the events of the parish of Dong Chiem in Hanoi, in which a Redemptorist named Brother Anthony was severely injured. The Superior gives Fides good news: "Brother Anthony is now at home, out of danger, and is recovering from the beatings suffered. We are happy about that." All the Redemptorists have today expressed their solidarity and support to the brethren and the faithful in Vietnam. My hope is to visit Vietnam one day," said Father Brehl.

At the end of the nineteenth century, many orders and congregations (including the Redemptorists) settled in Vietnam, building schools, hospitals, universities, seminaries, and convents. The Redemptorists arrived in Vietnam in 1925.

The Redemptorist Province in Vietnam is the largest in Asia. Over the past twenty years, the Province has grown: in 1983, there were 179 professed brothers, while today there are 278, including 168 priests who live in about 20 houses scattered throughout the country, in North, Central, and South Vietnam. There are also 222 postulants. The growth of vocations represents a great hope for the entire Church in Vietnam.