Deputy Chairman of the Steering Committee Le Hung Dung (R) presents a Christmas gift to Pastor Nguyen Le Huu Thuan of the Protestant Church of Vinh Long (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Officials have shared the Christmas joy with Catholics and Protestants nationwide, offering the best wishes to them on this occasion.

A delegation of the Steering Committee for the Southwestern Region on December 22 visited the Bishop’s Palace of the Diocese of Vinh Long and the Cathedral, Protestant Church, and the Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long.

Deputy Chairman of the Steering Committee Le Hung Dung wished all Catholics and Protestants a merry Christmas and happy new year, appreciating their contributions to boosting socio-economic development and ensuring political security and social order and safety.

He asked Catholic and Protestant dignitaries, pastors, priests and clergymen to continue encouraging followers to be both good citizens and followers, actively take part in patriotic emulation movements and socio-economic activities.

For their part, local dignitaries, priests and clergymen thankedthe Steering Committee and provincial authorities for creating favourable conditions for local Catholics and Protestants to practice their religions and do economic activities. They promised to encourage followers to comply with the Party’s guidelines and the State’s policies and laws, thereby helping with socio-economic development and defence-security maintenance.

In nearby An Giang province, local authorities also extended Christmas greetings to Catholics and Protestants in Long Xuyen and Chau Doc cities, Tan Chau township, and the districts of Chau Thanh, An Phu, Tri Ton, Cho Moi, Phu Tan and Thoai Son.

Sending the best wishes to the Evangelical Church of An Giang, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Binh recognised Protestants’ efforts to solidify the great national unity bloc and develop and protect the nation.

Pastor Cao Van Hoang, on behalf of the Church, appreciated the provincial administration’s attention and pledged to encourage followers to abide by law and lead a good religious and secular life.

On December 20, officials of Long An – another Mekong Delta province – visited and presented gifts to outstanding Catholic and Protestant dignitaries in ThanhHoa, Moc Hoa, Vinh Hung and Tan Thanh districts and Kien Tuong township.

In Nghe An, authorities of this central province sent many delegations to localities with big numbers of Catholics, wishing them a merry Christmas season. The provincial chapter of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union also offered greetings to secretaries of its sub-chapters who are Christians in Nam Loc commune of Nam Dan district.-VNA