Communist Vietnam Arrests Catholic Blogger

News: World News
by Church Militant  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  October 26, 2016   

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NHA TRANG, Vietnam (ChurchMilitant.com) - Communist security forces arrested a Catholic blogger in her hometown in the South Central Coast of Vietnam.

Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh, known by the blog name Mother Mushroom, was arrested on the morning of October 10 in Nha Trang. Quỳnh was walking an elderly woman to visit her son when security forces arrested Quỳnh and raided her home later the same morning.

Quỳnh is being charged with "conducting propaganda" in the Communist nation. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, High Commissioner of the UN Civil Rights Commission, criticized the arrest and cited "similar cases," where activists Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thu Ha were arrested last year for similar crimes.

Dr. Pham Chi Dung , chairman of the Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam, said the arrest of the blogger Mother Mushroom is a sign that Vietnam is taking a step backward on human rights. According to Amnesty USA, the single mother with two children has faced harassment in the past and is well known by the government for her activism. If convicted, Mother Mushroom may face up to 20 years in prison.

Vietnam was once a lighthouse of Catholic missionary activity under the French. In the 1600s, French missionaries converted some 6,000 souls to Catholicism. Despite persecution throughout the centuries under various emperors, some who ordered that priests be drowned and that the faithful be cut in half, the Holy Catholic faith swelled in the mid-1800s, with hundreds of thousands of conversions.

Out of fear of a French invasion, the Vietnamese emperor allowed Catholics the right to worship in an 1862 treaty. The French took over government control, and granted the Catholic Church favored status. At the turn of the 20th century, the average number of converts per year numbered a stunning 50,000.

It wasn't until the mid-20th century, when the Communists took over the entire country, when Catholic persecution re-appeared, the Faith beginning to decline. Catholics continue to face persecution, with the Catholic population down to only six percent.

Samuel Gregg, writer at the Acton Institute, has said about Vietnam, "To accept the notion of religious liberty, grounded in the duty of all people to seek the truth, is to accept the limited state. And that is something that no Communist government can ever truly acknowledge."

 

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