Scene at the fifth congress of the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (south) (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The Evangelical Church of Vietnam (south) on July 18 opened its fifth congress in Ho Chi Minh City.

The event, running to July 21, is the Church’s biggest activity held every four years, attracting over 3,000 delegates from 34 southern provinces and cities. Representatives from State agencies and local authorities also attended.

The congress will review the church’s operation in 2013-2017, elect a new executive council for the 2017-2021 tenure and discuss amendments to the Church’s charter.

Speaking at the event, deputy head of the Government’s Committee for Religious Affairs Tran Tan Hung praised the active participation of the Church’s dignities and followers in socio-economic development and humanitarian activities, thus contributing to national construction and defence.

He reiterated that the State pursues the policy of respecting and ensuring the right to religious and belief freedom as well as encouraging progressive religious activities.

Hung said the Committee appreciated the amendments to the Church’s charter and expressed his hope that delegates will contribute constructive ideas in order to promote values of the Church and ensure the principle of law adherence and harmony with other religions. -VNA