Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has affirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of respecting people’s rights to religious and belief freedom, and asked Christian dignitaries and followers to be more united and support each other to ensure social welfare and further develop the country.

Phuc, who is also a Politburo Member of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), made the remarks at a reception in Hanoi on April 17 for representatives of the Vietnam Christian Mission’s Executive Board.

The Deputy PM said that the Party, State and Government always highly value the contributions of religious dignitaries and followers in general and pastors and followers of the mission in particular to the national construction and defence.

He also praised the efforts made by the mission together with people nationwide over the past years in reducing poverty, building new-style cultural families and joining charitable activities.

A representative of Executive Board affirmed that the mission will continue nurturing the solidarity among its believers and strictly abide by the country’s policies and laws on belief and religion.

The mission now has more than 31,000 followers, with 48 pastors, 168 missionaries, 5 churches, 83 oratories and 200 groups in 14 localities across the country.-VNA