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Vietnam arrests pastor of outlawed Mennonite church accusing him of undermining state policy

HANOI, Vietnam - Vietnamese authorities have arrested the pastor of an outlawed Mennonite church for allegedly sowing division between the government and citizens of this communist nation.

The state-run Vietnam News says 42-year-old Nguyen Cong Chinh was taken into police custody Thursday. He faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted.

The newspaper said Friday that the charges stem from allegedly hostile comments Chinh posted on the Internet and interviews he gave to foreign media. It accused Chinh of disseminating distorted information and inciting people to protest.

Representatives for Chinh could not be reached for comment.