Religious followers express concern about illegal activities hinh anh 1A preaching session of Hoi thanh Duc Chua Troi (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Followers of the officially-recognised “Hoi thanh của Duc Chua Troi Hiep hoi Truyen giao Tin Lanh The gioi” (World Mission Society Church of God) in Vietnam have expressed concern that illegal activities of some religious groups with similar names will affect the image and operation of their religion.

At present there are several sects using such names as Hoi thanh Duc Chua Troi or Hoi Thanh cua Duc Chua Troi Me which conducted activities that violate the law and go against Vietnamese traditions and good values, thus causing social disorder.

However, according to the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, the Hoi thanh của Duc Chua Troi Hiep hoi Truyen giao Tin Lanh The gioi based in Ho Chi Minh City is so far the only one licensed to conduct concentrated religious activities.

Nguyen Van Hoa, a preacher and founder of a place of worship of the Hoi thanh của Duc Chua Troi Hiep hoi Truyen giao Tin Lanh The gioi at Binh Thuan Dong A ward, Binh Tan district in HCM City, said the religion’s doctrine upholds love for family and mankind. The religion always wants its followers to become good persons who build happy families, thus contributing to a good society and country.

“An important teaching of our religion is to love people around you like yourself, take care of your family and join social work such as donating blood, cleaning the streets and help people in disadvantaged circumstances,” he said.

Talking about activities of some groups calling themselves Hoi thanh cua Duc Chua Troi Me in some northern localities, Hoa said those activities have not received permission from the State, so those groups cannot be considered a religion.  

Hoa affirmed that his religion never teaches followers to smash altars or incense burners dedicated to ancestors. The religion does not preach about the end of the world, nor does it preach in parks or public space. It also requires followers who are students to study well and respect and love their families.

The Hoi thanh của Duc Chua Troi Hiep hoi Truyen giao Tin Lanh The gioi (World Mission Society Church of God), also known under the name Hoi thanh cua Duc Chua Troi Me, has its origin in the Republic of Korea. The sect’s branch in Ho Chi Minh City received a licence to operate in July 2017. It currently has around 600 members, who worship at four registered places in the city. The sect has no other places of worship in other localities.

A follower of the sect, Ms Kim Anh from Ruby Land apartment, 58/4 Luy Ban Bich, Tan Thoi Hoa ward, Tan Phu district, HCM City, said she hopes the authorities will quickly clarify the difference between serious and law-abiding religions and illegal activities in the name of religion.

Her wish is shared by many followers of religions operating in accordance with the law and society as a whole

The Communist Party of Vietnam and the Vietnamese State have always paid attention to facilitating religious activities in the spirit of respect for freedom of religion and beliefs. At the same time, relevant agencies and local authorities should strengthen the fight against illegal activities in the name of religion in order to ensure the genuine freedom of religion.  

It is a must to identify individuals or organisations who take advantage of religious activities for their own interest, in order to help the community understand, stay vigilant to and fight wrongful behaviours, clean up the religious life in the country and strengthen the unity bloc, contributing to the cause of national construction and defence.-VNA