Evangelical Church (North) holds 35th General Assembly hinh anh 1Overview of the opening of the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North)'s 35th General Assembly (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North) opened its 35th General Assembly on October 17 with the participation of representatives from the Vietnam Fatherland Front and the Government Committee for Religious Affairs and about 1,500 delegates.

Head of the Church Pastor Nguyen Huu Mac said that participants at the three-day event will review the Church’s operation in the 2013-2017 period, adjust its Charter, build plans for the next period, and elect an executive board for the 2017-2021 tenure.

He noted that in the 2013-2017 period, the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North) added 12,000 new followers, more than 140 registered places, while recognizing six local Churches and ordaining 54 pastors. It also appointed dignitaries-managers for 14 local churches.

The Church actively joined social activities and poverty reduction programmes. Along with launching campaigns to donate blood to the needy, the Church also presented gifts to poor children in mountainous areas. Followers of the Church donated land, money and 1,300 working days to construct 16 concrete roads in Thai Nguyen, he said.

Addressing the event, Vice Chairman of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs Bui Thanh Ha hailed charitable activities of the Church, expressing hope that in the future, the Church will continue that activities, contributing to the country’s prosperity.

Ha affirmed the Party and State’s policy of respecting and ensuring people’s freedom to religion and belief, saying the State encourages progressive religious activities in service of the nation and people.

Vietnam always pays attention to religious harmony and works to strengthen the harmony, he said, adding that all religious organisations are equal before law, which is clarified in the Law on Belief and Religion that will take effect from January 1, 2018.-VNA