Vietnam Authorities List Catholic Convent as ‘Heritage Site,’ Ban Construction

Authorities in southern Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh Metropolis have listed a greater than hundred-year-old Catholic convent and church as a “heritage website,” elevating the considerations of parishioners who concern they may not be allowed to construct on the land, sources say.

The itemizing of the Thu Thiem Convent and Church will even block constructing on the land by builders, who had earlier eyed the positioning as a location for industrial use in an bold challenge since shelved by metropolis authorities following protests by parishioners and social activists.

Chatting with RFA’s Vietnamese Service on Thursday, Sister Maria Nguyen Thi Hau stated that Thu Thiem, positioned in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis’s District 2, is certainly one of 5 locations designated on the finish of 2019 as city-level heritage websites.

And although Article 2 of Resolution 5386 ordering the designation bans “building or exploitation of a protected heritage website,” she stated, the brand new restriction has additionally prompted concern to members of the native Catholic group, as any new use of the land should now be authorised by the celebration chairman of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis.

Additionally talking to RFA, Sister Agatha Tran Thi Sanh stated that Thu Thiem parishioners have to be allowed to lift new buildings on the positioning, “as a result of heritage websites have to be redecorated to draw vacationers and different individuals.”

“That is the correct factor to do, and the native authorities should permit us to do it,” she stated.

Native parishioner Cao Thang Ca added that though Thu Thiem could now be protected against industrial use, town’s new designation of the positioning carries many dangers. “It’s as in case you personal a home, however it’s managed by another person,” he stated.

Authorities had chosen the Thu Thiem space of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, previously often called Saigon, in 2014 as the positioning of a “new city space” with zones created for industrial, residential, administrative, leisure, and academic functions.

Robust protests stopped authorities plans in Could 2018 to maneuver the Thu Thiem Convent and Church from its land, nonetheless.

Authorities in Vietnam have lengthy repressed the Catholic Church within the one-party communist state and subjected it to pressured evictions, land grabs, and assaults on clergymen and their followers, sources say.

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by Huy Le. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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