At least 8 Catholic university students and young laymen have been arrested in a new wave of crackdowns against the Church in Vietnam.

Facing a wake of anti-China demonstrations and protests calling for the release of prominent dissidents, Vietnam communist regime has carried out a series of secret arrests against Catholic youth in the diocese of Vinh, central Vietnam.

Catholic source in the diocese of Vinh informed that 8 Catholic university students and young laymen had been arrested during the period from July 30 to Aug 3.

On July 30, Peter Ho Duc Hoa and Jean Baptiste Nguyen Duc Oai of Quynh Luu, Nghe An; and Francis Dang Xuan Dieu of Nghi Loc, Nghe An were arrested on their arrival from the city of Vinh to Tan Son Nhat airport, Saigon.

Three days later, plain-clothes policemen secretly arrested three other Catholic university students in the city of Vinh. The detainees were Peter Nguyen Huu Duc, Anthony Dau Van Duong and Anthony Chu Manh Son, parishioners of Van Loc and Duc Van.

On Aug 3, police raided Francis Dang Xuan Tuong workplace and dragged him home for a thorough search which resulted in nothing. He was released two days later.

On the same day, in Hanoi, 6 policemen arrested blogger Paulus Le Son at his renting closet taking away his motorbike and other belongings.

So far, relatives of detainees do not know their whereabouts whilst police at all levels have denied the arrests.

Candlelight vigils are going to be held this weekend at all churches in the diocese of Vinh for detainees.

“These incidents harbinger more crackdowns against the Church,” Fr. Joseph Nguyen from Hanoi warns.