August 27, 2012

Government authorities from a district in Vietnam's Central Highlands forced ethnic villagers to remove Catholic pictures and items from their chapel, and authorities replaced them with images of the late communist leader Ho Chi Minh.

A Church source said government authorities from Kon Thuc hamlet, led by district security officials, visited the Catholics Aug. 12 after Mass and asked them to remove a cross and Marian image from the chapel.

The source said authorities threatened to imprison the lay leader if Catholics from the leper village of Dak Pnan did not comply.

Authorities then put two pictures of Ho Chi Minh in the places where the cross and Marian picture had been.

One lay leader said authorities told parishioners that the building was to be used "for village activities, not for worship."