The Church's the third general assembly takes place from December 10 - 12 (Photo: ​daidoanket.vn)

HCM City (VNA) – The Vietnam Seventh-Day Adventist Church opened the third general assembly in Ho Chi Minh City on December 10 with the attendance of 400 dignitaries and followers from 30 provinces and cities nationwide.

During the three-day event, participants will review the Church’s activities in the last tenure (between 2012 and 2015) and revise Article 15 in the Church’s Charter that could increase the general assembly’s working term to five years instead of four.

They are set to elect new members to the Church’s executive board and approve a working plan for the 2015 – 2020 term.

The Church is also expected to ask authorised agencies to license its places of worship in Dien Bien, Quang Ngai, Kon Tum, Dak Lak, and Dong Thap provinces.

Pastor Tran Thanh Truyen, the acting head of the Church, said the HCM City-headquartered Church took shape in Vietnam in 1915 and was recognised by the Seventh-Day Adventist World Church in 1929.

It was recognised as a religious organisation by the Government’s Committee for Religious Affairs in 2008. The first general assembly was held in October 2008 and the second one took place in December 2012.

He added that the Church currently has 173 pastors, evangelists and staff members along with 15 local churches, 162 places of worship and 15,697 followers.

At the event, Vice Chairman of the Committee for Religious Affairs Bui Thanh Ha said the Vietnam Seventh-Day Adventist Church was one of the first religious organisations recognised by the State under new regulations of the Ordinance on Belief and Religion.

The recognition has facilitated the Church’s operations, he added, noting its practical activities that have contributed to social welfares over the last two terms, such as offering meals and medical check-ups for low-income labourers and orphans, and building bridges and clinics.

The Church’s followers have also fulfilled the obligations of citizens while leading a good religious and secular life, helping to build up the national great unity bloc, the official said.-VNA