Mongolia: Catholics urged to stay home during state of emergency

 The head of the Catholic Church in Mongolia has urged Catholics to remain calm and stay away from daily Mass during a four-day state of emergency which has been declared by the government following post-election violence. Mongolia has just 520 baptized Catholics, most of them live in the capital, Ulanbator. The three parishes and bishop's residence are in the city's eastern, western and southern suburbs. Bishop Wenceslao Padilla told UCA News yesterday. "Parishioners should be careful, and if the state of emergency exceeds the initially announced four days, they may stay away from Sunday Mass if they think their safety could be in danger," "We cannot risk any injuries, so depending on the situation, some people may consider it wiser to stay at home." Last night, international media reported five people dead, 300 wounded and 700 arrested following violence in the Mongolian capital over alleged fraud in the June 29 parliamentary elections. President Nambariin Enkhbayar declared the four-day emergency just before midnight on July 1, after opposition demonstrations in front of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) headquarters in the capital turned violent and the building was set on fire. Bulldozers have since blockaded the city.

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