Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on December 21 visited the Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese and the General Confederation of the Evangelical Churches of Vietnam (South) on the occasion of Christmas.

At the meetings, he wished Catholic and Protestant dignitaries and followers a merry and happy Christmas and briefed them on the country’s socio-economic situation.

Praising Catholic and Protestant followers for their contributions to such achievements, he voiced his hope that they will do more for the country’s national construction and defence.

Talking with Cardinal Pham Minh Man, Archbishop of the Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese, the Deputy PM expressed his wish that the archbishop will continue setting a bright example in line with the maxim of leading a good secular and religious life and respecting God and loving the country.

He applauded cooperation between the archdiocese and the municipal authorities in relevant activities, saying the reaped fruits mirror the State’s reform efforts towards the freedom of belief and religions.

The Party and State will give more importance to the freedom of belief and religions, thus building a democratic, civilised and united country, he affirmed.

The archbishop made a brief on the Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese’s operation over the past time, saying the archdiocese has always actively coordinated with the local authorities to support people living in difficulties.

At the General Confederation of the Evangelical Churches of Vietnam (South), Deputy PM Phuc congratulated it on the successful organisation of the 4th General Assembly.

Pastor Phan Vinh Cu, head of the general confederation, thanked the Party and State for its assistance to the general confederation’s operations.

Earlier, on December 20, the Quang Nam provincial People’s Committee visited and extended Christmas greetings to Christian dignitaries and followers.

At the meeting, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Phuoc Thanh briefed Catholics and Protestants on the province’s political, socio-economic, national defence and security situation in 2013.

He hailed the dignitaries’ contributions to encourage Catholic and Protestant followers to take part in patriotic emulation movements, raise the spirit of solidarity and engage in the locality’s economic development, especially their efforts to overcome the consequences of devastating natural disasters this year.-VNA