'Religious tolerance' grows in Vietnam
AsiaNews director Father Bernardo Cervellera says that there is a certain religious tolerance developing in Vietnam in this interview with the television program "Where God Weeps" of the Catholic Radio and Television Network (CRTN) in cooperation with Aid to the Church in Need.Notre Dame Basilica, Ho Chi Minh City
- June 14, 2011
Q: Some 10% of the Vietnamese population is Catholic. Things have improved, but is religious freedom possible in Vietnam today?
Father Cervellera: There are some improvements, for example, in the past few years the seminaries, which before were limited to a fixed number of candidates, have now been opened and there are more and more vocations. There is also a certain tolerance of the government toward, for example, medical care provided by the sisters, education in kindergartens and so on. I would say tolerance, not permission, [is the correct term]. In some ways there is more freedom but all these freedoms depend on the will of the government, which sometimes will allow or withdraw it.
Q: But there is still violence against Christians?
Father Cervellera: In some areas of Vietnam, for example in the north and among the hill tribes, there is still violence. In Sung La and other dioceses, and other smaller cities and villages, Catholics cannot celebrate Masses for Christmas or Easter and are prohibited from having catechesis and teaching their children the faith because the local government does not allow any expression of faith at all. In practical terms, they want to destroy the Catholic faith.
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