The Việt Nam Protestant Church (Southern Region) began its quadrennial general confederation congress in HCM City yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo httlvn.org
HCM City – The Việt Nam Protestant Church (Southern Region) began its quadrennial general confederation congress in HCM City yesterday.
Attended by 3,000 representatives from 34 provinces from the south up to Quảng Trị in the centre, it is considered the most important and biggest event for Protestants.
The five-day congress will review its operations during the 2013-17 period, amend charter contents, elect a new executive council for the confederation, and approve the 2017-21 working plan.
Addressing the gathering, deputy head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, Trần Tấn Hùng, said the event is a major festival for all members of the Việt Nam Protestant Church.
The members significantly contributed to the nation’s poverty reduction programmes and charitable and humanitarian works and the nation’s defence and construction.
“The Party and the Government’s religious policy always respects and ensures freedom of belief and religion, and encourages improved religious activities for the benefits of the country and people.”
The Government Committee for Religious Affairs had considered and green lighted the changes to the charter proposed by the confederation, which would discuss them at the session, he said.
He hoped delegates would actively contribute during the discussions to amend the charter in keeping with the good traditions of Protestantism, compliance with the law and harmony with other religions.
“The Government strongly believes that under the leadership of the new executive council of the confederation 2017 -2021, members of the Việt Nam Protestant Church (Southern Region) will continue to sustain its patriotic traditions and continue to contribute to national development.”
The largest Protestant organisation in Việt Nam, the Church has received favourable treatment from the administration, he added.
The Church has set up hundreds of chapters in the Central Highlands, rebuilt many churches and printed Protestant publications and the Bible in the languages of the Ba Na, Ê Đê and Gia Rai ethnic groups.
It has some 700,000 believers in 34 central and southern provinces and cities. -- VNS