Tensions between Catholics and Vietnam government sharply increase on Monday when two Vietnam Police Generals threaten to subjugate Catholic protestors with “extreme actions”; and Archbishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet of Hanoi has been accused of inciting protests.

The New Hanoi newspaper on Monday carries a report in which Lt. General Nguyen Van Huong, Vice-Minister of Public Security, virulently criticizes Catholic protestors in Thai Ha of “belittling the laws, and disrupting public order” threatening to punish severely “anyone who incite protests.”

To make the term “anyone who incite protests” clearer, Major-General Nguyen Duc Nhanh, the Director of the Hanoi Police Agency claims that “the presence of priests where Catholics assemble to pray illegally, or to perform riot behaviors, or to destroy state properties, by itself, is an act of riot stimulation.”

Nhanh also threatens to punish anyone who write and distribute articles relating to Catholic protests on the Internet.

Not to stop short on the priests, the New Hanoi accuses Archbishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet of attempting to associate the dispute in Thai Ha and the one at the former nunciature. The paper also goes further blaming the archbishop of encouraging 82 priests in Hanoi to sign a Letter of Communion with Thai Ha parish.

Like Russian KGB, Vietnam Police is an organization with a military hierarchy. It has been seen as the “sword and shield” to provide the defense of the Communist Party. The fact that two Generals of the “sword and shield” speak out simultaneously against protestors signals potential hard-line measures to force them into submission.