CRUCIFIX DESTROYED, CATHOLICS INJURED IN VIETNAM
In Dong Chiem, several Catholics were injured by the police while attempting to keep the authorities from destroying a crucifix in the parish cemetery. The crucifix was destroyed Wednesday with explosives. The faithful attempted to intervene, but hundreds of police accompanying the task force began to beat them. Father John Le Trong Cung, the vice-chancellor of the Hanoi Archdiocese, reported: “At least a dozen people have been badly beaten, two of them were seriously injured and taken to a clinic in Te Tieu, where, however, they did not receive treatment. Later, the priests and the faithful found them and they took them to Viet Duc hospital, where doctors intervened.” The archdiocese condemned the “sacrilege” as an offense against the Catholic faith, AsiaNews reported.
Father Le Trong Cung stated that the hill where the crucifix stood has been owned by the parish for over a century.
CHRISTIAN CHURCHES ATTACKED IN MALAYSIA
Several Protestant churches and one Catholic church were attacked Wednesday night in Kuala Lumpur. The attacks occurred hours after the government announced it would reinstate a ban prohibiting non-Muslims from using the word “Allah.” Muslims constitute some 60% of the country’s 28 million people.
DRIVE-BY SHOOTING KILLS 6 EGYPTIAN CHRISTIANS
Six Coptic Orthodox Christians and a Muslim security guard were killed while leaving Christmas Midnight Mass in a drive-by shooting Wednesday evening in Nag Hammadi. This year’s Christmas, which was observed Thursday by many Orthodox Churches, was marked with tragedy as the community held a funeral procession for the victims. Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, sent a letter today to Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Shenouda III of Alexandria and the See of St. Mark, expressing solidarity with the community.”All Christians must be united in face of oppression and, together, seek the peace that only Christ can give,” the cardinal wrote. The letter, published by the Vatican press office, continued, “Every time our Christians suffer unjustly, it is a wound to the Body of Christ that all of us believers share.” The victims included a 14-year-old adolescent, a couple, and young men in their 20s. Nine other Christians leaving the Mary Gergis Church on Wednesday night were injured as three men with automatic weapons shot into the crowd from a car.