In the 1850s, the pagan
governor of northern Vietnam, Nguyen Dang Giai, made an ill-fated attempt to obtain a measure of religious tolerance for Vietnamese Catholics suffering persecution
under the country's emperor, Tu Duc (1848-1862). In a report to Tu Duc, the governor highlighted the Catholics' virtues: "The Christians tend to take care of the sick--physically and mentally, helping the poor...They never discriminate against people for reason
of race or religion, but instead, they consider everyone their friends...the Christians are ready to help non-Christians whose families are in difficulty...With such behavior and activities, should they be severely punished?" This plea fell on deaf ears. The emperor continued his measures to eradicate the Catholic
Church in Vietnam. On June 16, 1862, five men from the village of Ngoc Cuc were beheaded together at Lang Coc. Dominic Mao Trong Ha, forty-four years old, Domingo Nhi, forty years old, and Andrew Tuong, fifty years old, were farmers. Domingo Nguyen was a sixty-two-year-old village clerk. Vincent Tuong was a forty-eight-year-old village chief.