The Office of
Archdiocese of Hanoi

Hanoi Jan 20, 2010

To: All priests, Religious men and women, and all brothers and sisters in Christ of Hanoi Archdiocese.

The Office of Archdiocese of Hanoi would like to give you an update on the current situation at Dong Chiem parish, An Phu village, My Duc district as follow:

After successfully knocking down and demolishing the crucifix on Mount Worship in the early hours of Jan 6, 2010, the local government went on to terrorize the fragile mind of Dong Chiem parishioners by means of mega speakers blaring non stop their propaganda of accusatory, slanderous and insulting content which aimed directly at the pastors and parishioners; of hundreds of riot police, military armed forces and plainclothes police to barricade all gateways and prevent traffic in and out of Dong Chiem.

-On Jan 17, 2010 the police had made an arrested and detained Mrs. Dinh Thi Huong and Mr. Nguyen Van Dang. These two individuals are now still in custody. Mrs. Huong's daughter, Bach Thi Ai, a 10th grader, was brutally assaulted by the police.

-On Jan 18, Mrs. Pham Thi Heo, Mrs. Dinh Thi Dau, and Mrs. Tran Thi Thu had been detained by the police for 24 hours as they were on their way to the market place.

- On Jan 19 and Jan 20, Mrs Dinh Thi Huyen, Mrs. Bach Thi Ha and Mrs. Bach Thi Quyen were summoned by the police for questioning by district Police in My Duc.

- The most severe cases involved Mr. JB Nguyen Huu Vinh who was knocked out of consciousness at a police check point in Dong Chiem on Jan 11, and most recently Bro. Nguyen Van Tang, a monk from the Redemptorist monastery was also beaten until losing consciousness on Jan 20 when on his way to visit Dong Chiem.

- Dong Chiem's pastor Fr. Jos Nguyen Van Huu, and the associated pastor Fr. Jos Nguyen Van Lien were repeatedly ordered to come for police questionings.

Dong Chiem on Jan 20 was completely isolated from outsiders. No one from other places is allowed to go in Dong Chiem, including the priests from Hanoi Deanery. The police stopped them at the Xay bridge, 500 m to Dong Chiem.

Facing this very tense situation which seems to be getting worst, we ask for all in our archdiocesan family to continue to pray fervently for our priests and parishioners in Dong Chiem, especially for those who were victims of physical assault and detention to hold on tight to their faith in this very difficult time, that they will be willing to share the cross our Lord Jesus Christ had carried. We also ask that human fundamental rights to be respected in order for our country to be truly at peace, democracy and civilization.

Respectfully yours,

Rev. John Le Trong Cung
Vice-chancellor of Hanoi Archdiocese,

NB: This announcement to be read throughout every churches from now on til Sunday Jan 24, 2010. After each mass, the congregation will sing "The Prayer of Peace" and "The Diocesan Paryer" to pray for Dong Chiem parish.