Press Release


Orange County, California, 23 October, 2015. The Federation of Vietnamese Catholic Mass Media, before the international community, protests and sternly condemns the arbitrary confiscation of the property of the Order of the Lovers of the Holy Cross in Thu Thiem, Vietnam.

Since the date of the Order's foundation in 1840, for 175 years, the sisters of the Order have put their countless amount of effort and labour into transforming piece by piece of land in the wilderness into facilities for religious activities and education, helping hundreds of thousands of children and teenagers in the substandard neighbourhoods of the poor labourers in Thu Thiem, considered to be the most destitute area of Saigon.

After taking control of South Vietnam in 1975, the Communist rulers took advantage of the psychological quandary among the local people to carry out a well-crafted policy which allowed them to expropriate properties of religions, by forcing the victims to let the state use their properties free of charge or coerce them to involuntarily donation the properties under the banner of social welfare.

In that context, 3 schools that had been run by the nuns of the Congregation were forced one by one to be transferred into the government's hand “to be used for educational purposes” with the condition that should they are no longer needed for educational services they would be returned to the Order.

For the first few years, these three schools had actually been used for the educational purposes as promised. However, since 2010, when the price of land in Saigon has relentlessly soared up, the local government, in a conspiracy to rob the people’s land, has repeatedly launched campaigns to clear out the area with lowest rate of compensation.

In recent years, while the schools have no longer been used for education, they have never been returned to the Order but rather been used for other purposes.

On October 22, 2015 the local government ordered a massive number of police officers accompanied by other groups of gangsters to isolate the sisters; and started demolishing the Sisters’ properties despite their protest.

The Federation of Vietnamese Catholic Mass Media in our responsibility and duty solemnly state our position as follow:

1. Expose and condemn the Vietnamese government’s action with the highest disapprobation before the international community for the confiscation of the legal properties of the Order of the Lovers of the Holy Cross Thu Thiem Vietnam who have devoted their entire lives educating and taking care of the poor.

2. Are totally in support of Sister Nguyen Thi Ngoan, the Order’s Mother Superior in calling for the government to cease immediately the demolition and return the property to the Order?

3. Earnestly asks the Vietnamese communities all over the world to pray for the Thu Thiem Sisters, and to report to the local authorities and governments the unacceptable confiscation of the properties of the Catholic Church as well as those of the other religions in Vietnam, and the violation of religious freedom and human rights by the Vietnamese government regardless of the world agreements that it has signed to conform.

We earnestly call for all Congresses, Governments, Political parties in every nations, Human rights Organizations, the Amnesty International, the International Committee for Human rights and the World Media as well as the Vietnamese Overseas Media to be with us in our fight for justice, peace and human rights for our beloved Vietnamese people.


Bishop Vincent Nguyen Van Long

Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, Australia

Rev. John Tran Cong Nghi

Director of VietCatholic News Agency

Rev. Joachim Viet-Chau Nguyen Duc

Editor of the People of God Monthly Magazine ( in America)

Rev. Anthony Nguyen Huu Quang

Vice Director of VietCatholic News Agency

Editor of the People of God Monthly Magazine ( in Australia )

Rev. Stephen Luu Thuong Bui

Editor of the People of God Monthly Magazine (in Europe)

Rev. Paul Van- Chi Chu

Vice Director of VietCatholic News Agency

The Federation of Vietnamese Catholic Mass Media