Senior Vietnamese officials visited and extended Christmas greetings to the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North) in Hanoi on December 20, expressing hope that it will reap more successes next year.

Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Le Ba Trinh said that the Party and State always want to make it easier for the church to spread its operations.

Deputy head of the Government’s Committee for Religious Affairs Bui Thanh Ha said he wishes the church a Christmas season of joy, happiness and peace.

Pastor Nguyen Huu Mac, head of the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North), said the front and committee’s assistance have cheered Protestant dignitaries and followers, showing strong links in the great national unity.

He expressed hope for more State and Government attention to its work, contributing to a prosperous and civilised nation.

Earlier on December 19, Vice Chairwoman of the Hanoi City People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc also conveyed Christmas congratulations to the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North) and its Hanoi chapter.

The Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North) groups over 100,000 followers, primarily in the northern mountainous provinces of Dien Bien, Cao Bang and Lai Chau. Over 1,000 of them are members of the Hanoi chapter.

The same day, senior officials of the central province of Ha Tinh congratulated and presented gifts to the Diocese of Vinh.

They hailed the local Catholic community for its help in key resettlement projects and social security and order.

On the occasion, Catholic Party members in Can Loc district, Ha Tinh province were also honoured for their contributions to society.

From December 18-20, top officials of Yen Bai, Dak Lak and Vinh Long provinces also called at and conveyed wishes to Catholic and Protestant missionaries.-VNA