The southern province of Dong Nai is one of the first localities in the country to establish the provincial Committee for Solidarity of Catholics right after the Vietnam Committee for Catholic Solidarity (VCCS) was founded in 1983.

Priest Tran Xuan Thao, Chairman of the provincial Committee, made the remark at a ceremony in Dong Nai on November 6 to mark its 30th founding anniversary.

Over the past 30 years, the committee has assisted Catholic followers in patriotic emulation campaigns launched by the Vietnam Fatherland Front and authorities.

Local Catholics have actively joined in drives to build cultural lifestyles in residential areas, lent a helping hand to the poor, studied and followed President Ho Chi Minh’s moral examples while building new-style rural areas.

Other campaigns to encourage studies and talents, and improve rural transport have also received their warm responses.

On top of this, local Catholic priests and followers have contributed hundreds of millions of dong to social welfare activities.

Addressing the ceremony, VCCS Vice President cum General Secretary Phan Khac Tu stressed that Dong Nai is the only province that has reviewed the patriotic emulation campaign among its Catholic community.

They have fully grasped teachings in the letter “Living out the Gospel in the midst of the Nation to serve the happiness of our compatriots”, issued by the Vietnam Episcopal Council in 1980, he noted.

Catholic followers form the second largest religious community in Vietnam. Based on the number of followers, Buddhism is the largest religion with Mahayana and Hinayana branches having a total of about 6.8 million followers.

Catholicism has 5.7 million, followed by Hoa Hao sect (1.4 million), Cao Dai sect (808,000), Protestantism (734,000), Islam (73,000), and Brahmanism (56,000).-VNA