Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh talks to Bishop Joseph Nguyen Nang and other dignitaries of Phat Diem Diocese (Source: VNA)

Ninh Binh (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh visited Phat Diem Diocese in the northern province of Ninh Binh on December 22 to extend greetings to local Catholic dignitaries and followers on the Christmas season.

Talking to Bishop Joseph Nguyen Nang and other dignitaries, the Deputy PM informed them of the country’s important socio-economic development achievements in 2018, with all 12 set targets fulfilled, and affirmed the contributions made by the Catholic community to the success.

The Government official reiterated that the State always respects and guarantees the right to freedom of religion and beliefs of all people, considering it a consistent policy to ensure the rights and legitimate interests of religious followers, thus strengthening the national great unity for national development.

The Deputy PM praised the Phat Diem diocese for organising a wide range of social and charity activities and voiced his hope that the Bishop and other dignitaries will organise a warm and safe Christmas holiday, and continue encouraging the community to exert greater efforts to contribute more to the country.

Bishop Joseph Nguyen Nang shared the delight at the country’s important achievements in renewal and national development, and the recognition of the contributions made by the Catholic community to the growth of the locality and the nation.

The Catholics in Phat Diem diocese will continue to do their best to contribute to social development, especially in issues related to education and health.

In Ninh Binh’s neighbouring province of Nam Dinh, local leaders also visited local Catholic dignitaries and followers on the occasion of Christmas.

Visiting Bach Tinh Parish in Nam Truc district, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Pham Dinh Nghi said that the locality has fulfilled all 2018 socio-economic criteria and collected over 4 trillion VND (171.2 million USD) for the State budget.

Nam Dinh is one among the localities leading the country in terms of new-style rural area building with five out of 10 districts recognized as new-style rural areas.

Nghi attributed the results to joint efforts of the local Party Committee, authorities and people, including the Catholic community.

He expressed his hope that Catholic dignitaries and followers will continue following the Party’s policies and State’s laws, responding to patriotic emulation movements, and joining hands to further develop the nation and the province.-VNA