Vietnamese warned not to read ICN

 Police in Vietnam have begun inspecting the computers of Catholics who have taken part in the ongoing prayer vigils over confiscated church properties.

A source in Hanoi said the authorities are closely monitoring overseas reports on the protests.

"You are in serious trouble should your browsing history include Asia-News, Catholic News Agency, Catholic World News, Independent Catholic News, VietCatholic News, Zenit and others" - he warned.

Plain clothed police are reported to be hunting for Catholic reporters who are keeping the outside world, and those in Vietnam who access to the Internet, informed about the protest.

One journalist said: "I was about to send an email when police swamped in. The person next to me had his browsing history inspected. He even was forced to log into his Gmail account for a 'security inspection."

The journalist said: "For almost a month, the state media has been putting out false stories each day, in an attempt to discredit the Catholic Church. People masquerading as priests and lay Catholics have been employed in interviews on TV, radio, and newspapers."

Despite threats of an imminent crackdown, more bishops have arrived Thai Ha to join protestors. Among them is 82 year old Bishop Paul Cao Dinh Thuyen, who traveled 334 km on Wednesday to join protestors from his Vinh diocese showing solidarity with the demonstrators.

"The problem of Thai Ha is also a trouble of Vinh and Thanh Hoa diocese, and of the entire Church in Vietnam," said Bishop Cao.

Bishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh of Thai Hoa diocese concelebrated Mass for protestors with Bishop Cao and Bishop Dang Duc Ngan of Lang Son who has been among the protestors since last Friday.

"We are here to show our communion with you," said Bishop Joseph Nguyen in his sermon. He asked everyone to pray intensely "for those who were arrested and for those who have been harassed by the government."

Thousands of Catholics in nearby provinces had to ride bicycles to Thai Ha after police turned back their buses.

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