A high - level deligation from Vietnam visited the Baha'i World Centre
25 September, a high-level delegation from Vietnamvisited the Bahá'í World Centre. The delegation was led by the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Pham Dung, who oversees the State Department for Religious Affairs and chairs the Government Committee for Religious Affairs. He was accompanied by the following officials:
. Mr. Duong Ngoc Tan, Director-General of the Department and Vice Chairman of the Government Committee
. Mr. Bui Mau Quan, Deputy Director-General of the Department
. Mr. Nguyen Duc Vinh, Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Division
. Mr. Nguyen Tuan Anh, First Secretary, The Embassy ofVietnam inIsrael
The guests were welcomed in the Seat of the International Teaching Centre, and accompanied along the Upper Arc Path to the Visitors Information Centre of Office of Public Information, viewed the visitors' film in English, and after that enjoyed the refreshments and conversation in the lounge. The group then walked to the Shrine of the Báb and entered the Shrine itself to pay their respects.
The World Centre hosts were Mr. Albert Lincoln and Ms. Sarah Vader. They were joined in the Visitors' Centre by Mrs. Joan Lincoln, who had represented the Universal House of Justice at the National Convention in March 2008.
While seated in the lounge, Mr. Pham Dung made some remarks in which he stated that the Government Committee which he heads wishes to encourage all the religions to take part in the rebuilding of the country. He said that he had personally visited the National Bahá'í Centre and knows that the Bahá'ís are peaceful people and loyal, law-abiding citizens. After mentioning that the Government makes grants to assist religious communities in their activities, he expressed regret at the modest amounts available and hoped that the World Centre would support the Bahá'í community of Vietnam financially. In response, the Bahá'í representatives expressed admiration for the energy and initiative of the Vietnamese people and suggested that wealth and poverty should not be measured in economic terms alone.
Mr. Pham Dung presented Mr. Lincoln with a small shield bearing the emblem of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs. In return, he received a copy of the coffee-table book about the Bahá'í Shrine and Gardens and a crystal paperweight with the image of the Shrine of the Báb etched inside it. The other members of the delegation were also given a set of gifts.
The atmosphere throughout the visit was agreeable. All of the officials expressed warm appreciation for the hospitality and the opportunity to visit the Bahá'í sites and learn more about the Faith.
Nguyen Dinh Thoa