President Tran Dai Quang (L) meets with Catholic dignitaries and followers in HCM City (Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – President Tran Dai Quang extended Christmas greetings to Catholic dignitaries and followers during his visit to the Catholic Church under the Archdiocese (Metropolitan) of Ho Chi Minh City on December 23. 

President Quang highlighted the Party and State’s consistent policy of respecting and ensuring the right to freedom of belief and religion of citizens, saying that this is the legitimate right of religious followers. 

The Law on Belief and Religion adopted by the 14th National Assembly on November 18, 2016 institutionalised the Party’s policy and viewpoints on belief and religion, and realised the spirit and content of the Constitution 2013 on the right to freedom of belief and religion, he noted. 

The President spoke highly of the participation of religious communities and Catholic followers in particular in patriotic emulation movements, thereby promoting the national great unity bloc and contributing to the cause of national construction and defence. 

There are more and more outstanding examples in Catholic parishes, who have made great contributions to charity activities, poverty reduction and socio-economic development programmes, he stressed.  

According to the President, in the elections of deputies to the 14th National Assembly and People's Councils at all levels for the 2016-2021 tenure, many Catholic dignitaries and followers were elected as NA and People’s Council members. This fact shows that the Vietnam Catholic Church is an integral part of the national great unity bloc. 

The people nationwide are making every effort to promote the national great unity bloc, comprehensively accelerate the country’s reform process, boost the rapid and sustainable economic development and turn the country into a modernity-oriented industrial nation, he said, adding that this glorious cause requires greater contributions by people from all walks of life, including Catholic followers. 

The State leader urged Catholic dignitaries and followers to continue upholding the patriotic tradition and making more contributions to the building of a strong, democratic, fair and civilised country.-VNA