The Vietnam Baptist Church (southern) convened its second congress for the 2012-2016 tenure in Ho Chi Minh City on August 8.

At the event, Deputy Head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs Bui Manh Ha said the Party and State always recognise active contributions made by Protestant dignitaries and followers in general, and the Vietnam Baptist Church in particular.

The second congress of the Vietnam Baptist Church is specific evidence affirming the Vietnamese Party and State’s consistent policy to respect and ensure people’s rights to religious freedom, he said.

Ha said he hopes the Church will select outstanding dignitaries to its 21-member executive committee for the 2012-2016 period and make further positive contributions to society overall.

The Vietnam Baptist Church (southern) was established in 1989 and was recognised by the Government as a religious organisation in 2008. It now has around 40,000 followers across 42 cities and provinces.

The congress is expected to wrap up on August 10.-VNA