Los Angeles -
Thousands in the Candlelight Vigil in Sydney
Praying for the Church in Vietnam
As tension between the Church and the communist government over Church properties in the archdiocese of Hanoi has intensified, Vietnamese Catholic communities in The United States Of America and in Australia have shown their solidarity to the Church in Vietnam through meetings, demonstrations and Candlelight Vigils.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Vietnamese Catholic Community Center, Santa Ana, California on 23th December where a Candlelight Vigil was held to pray for the Church in Vietnam. Among the notable speakers were Bishop Dominic Mai Thanh Luong, Auxiliary Bishop of Orange County; Father Mai Khai Hoan, the director of the center; and Father John Tran Cong Nghi, the director of VietCatholic News Agency. Leaders of other religions also attended the Vigil to show their solidarity.

Father John Tran Cong Nghi of VietCatholic News Agency presented a brief history of Apostolic Delegate's Office in Hanoi, how the communists confiscated the building, how it has been used recently, unsuccessful efforts from Archbishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet and his predecessors to get it back, peaceful demonstrations of priests, religious and the laity in Hanoi since 18th December, and the responds from the Vietnamese authorities. He emphasized the responsibility of Vietnamese diaspora to show support for fellows in Vietnam who are fighting for justice, freedom and the respect of human rights from the communist government.

Another Candlelight Vigil was held at the same time at the Vietnamese Martyrs Church in San Jose. Thousands attended the event. Dr. Tran An Bai, a parishioner, praised the fight for justice of the Catholics in Hanoi. According to Dr Tran, none of Vietnamese Catholics can be an outsider in the struggle for justice in Vietnam.

At Christ the King Catholic Church in San Jose, Dr. Tran Trung Hoa gained a good attention from parishioners when he briefed them with the situation of the archdiocese of Hanoi and the tension between the Church and the government over Church properties in the archdiocese. During Masses on 23th and 24th of December, Father Robert Brocato of Christ the King Catholic Church, Father Paul Phan Quang Cuong, and Father Dominic Do Van Dinh lead special ceremonies to pray for the archdiocese of Hanoi.

In Sydney, Australia, a special ceremony was held before the Christmas Vigil to pray for the Church in Vietnam. More than 5000 attended the event in Paul Keating park.