Catholics fined for having large families
Catholics in Vietnam face a conflict between church policy which prohibits most forms of contraception and government policy, which punishes families with more than two children. For peasants, it appears that the punishment comes in the form of progressively harsher fines of rice. For example, a 44-year-old woman from Huong Toan village near Hue said she was fined 300 kilograms of rice for her third child, 600 kilograms for her fourth, 900 kilograms for her fifth and 2,000 kilograms for her sixth. Since the family makes a profit of only 700 kilograms or rice annually, the fines hit hard. The parish priest, Fr. Joseph Nguyen Van Chanh, says 90% of the Catholics in the parish agree to pay the fines rather than violate church teaching. He is asking for donations to support local people with large families.
Vietnam has a population of close to 86 million people with an average annual increase of 1.12 million.
Source: UCAN News/Indian Catholic, July 16.