Hundreds of Catholics in Vietnam gathered to hold a protest on Friday in Hanoi after government officials announced plans of building a sewage plant around a local church.
Reports from Asia Online shared that more than 150 Christians marched outside a cathedral that serves as the headquarters of the Catholic community. The group was dispersed by 20 police officers, but the event is significant because the strict authoritarian country does not allow many demonstrations.
Christians in Vietnam, however, had enough and do not want a sewage project to go through the church’s lands, which they see as an attack on their place of worship.
The Thai Ha Redemptorist Church was engaged in a battle for its land since 1972, and already saw a former monastery seized and turned into a hospital, according to Times Live.
Tensions are still high in Hanoi, after a Baptist church house was attacked on Sunday. A mob of 10 men assaulted Pastor Nguyen Danh Chau, beating him severely and causing serious head trauma, according to Worthy News.
Many other church members were also beaten, including women and children. Worshippers were punched, smacked, and kicked to the floor.
The group, who had wanted the Christians to stop their prayer service, ripped a cross from the Agape Baptist Church, and destroyed the family garden and fruit trees before they left. They also threatened they would murder the pastor if he does not give up on his sermons.
"All they (the other church members) could do was weep, and I also could not prevent my tears from flowing. Why do they gratuitously beat servants of the Lord like this? What crime have they committed; what enemies have they made? All we want to do is gather people to worship and serve God and our fellowman,” said Chau.