An Bang is a village located 25 km Southeast of Hue city with about 800 active Catholics living and fishing in the area. In the middle of nowhere, on the land once owned by Mr. Le Khinh, a parishioner who donated his property to his parish upon his death, a church was built obviously just to satisfy people's hunger for Christ and that seems to be the one and only reason, judging by the way it looks.

Tourists from the West would drop their jaws if this "church" were introduced to them by their tour guide for its lack of everything a regular church from the Western world would consist of.

Not a single chair would be found in this church, nor could church goers be protected from the rain or hot sun since there were no roof, no wall, no fan, nothing.

Father Peter Nguyen Huu Giai is currently the pastor to An Bang parish. He is a priest known to have devoted his entire priesthood for not only pastoral duties but also the protection of his uneducated, peace loving parishioners from harassment and intimidation from the local government. He has been constantly living under tremendous amount of pressure from the local officials for not being able to keep with their demands from all aspects upon his poor, defenseless parishioners.

Ever since father Nguyen Van Ly -his colleague and best friend at the same archdiocese- had fought so hard to keep the local government's hands off people's land as well as freedom to participate in church's activities, and later imprisoned for his brave actions, An Bang's parishioners have turned to father Peter for guidance and protection when it comes to dealing with cadres' malicious intents. Circumstances had brought them closer every time natural disaster or just plain governmental abuse struck. He and his flocks remained defiant, unyielding to any threats until today.

Their church they come to worship, therefore, always crowded and lively, no matter if it rains or shine. People would come and sit on the dirt floor to celebrate mass. Morning masses are usually celebrated at 5:30 am to avoid the blazing hot sun shining right on their faces, but when it rains people don't have much choice besides getting soaked.

Their poverty, however, does not appeal to the pity of the government; and does not spare them from attacks of officials who are so driven by greed and ambition that they have been trying to take every step to dissociate the people with their legitimate need for a decent worshiping place where they can be in communion with Christ. They have turned down each and every request to build a "real church" from the priest and his parishioners while publicly announcing they'd already made plans to turn the area into a tourist resort.

While facing the possible loss of their land on which their simple church has been established, the Catholics of An Bang never have any doubts in God's presence amongst them, no matter how big or small, how beautiful or simple their church is.

"For we are the Temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people." (2 Corinthians 6:16)