01/06/2016 15:05 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Mormon Church representative committee recognised

Hanoi, June 1 (VNA) – The Government Committee for Religious Affairs on May 31 officially recognised the Representative Committee of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Vietnam.

The Church is often referred to as the “Mormon Church" because of a belief in the Book of Mormon, a volume of holy scripture said to be a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) was founded by Joseph Smith (1805 - 1844), its first president, on April 6, 1830 in Fayette Township, New York.

It was then developed by Brigham Young who migrated with the new Mormons to Salt Lake City in 1847.

The LDS Church was brought to Vietnam in 1962, and was registered in 1967 by the South Vietnam government. After 1975, the LDS Church in Vietnam ceased operations, with most of its members migrating to other countries. Those who stayed in the country practiced the religion at home.

In 1995, the Mormon Church revived its activities in Vietnam, with two groupings formed in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Currently, the Church has nearly 1,000 followers, mostly in the two cities.

To support Mormons to practice religion, the Interim Representative Committee of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter - day Saints Vietnam was officially recognised in May 2014.

Speaking at the recognition ceremony on May 31, the committee’s Chairman Hoang Van Tung said that the recognition will help Mormon followers in Vietnam have a close and full organisation and obey Vietnamese law and the Church’s creeds.

Bui Thanh Ha, deputy head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, said that the recognition of the representative committee acknowledges the contributions made by Church followers, shows the Party’s and State’s policy of religious freedom, and contributes to Vietnam-US relations.

Although the Mormon Church in Vietnam is small, its Representative Committee has been recognised by the State, which shows that the country does not discriminate between religions, Ha said.

Ha affirmed that the Church has contributed to boosting socio-economic development.

According to him, Vietnam is currently home to 39 religious organisations of 14 recognised religions, with their followers accounting for 27 percent of the population.

He expressed his hope that the religions continue to coexist peacefully and contribute to national construction.