From 14-16 July 2011, by invitation of Vietnam’s Governmental Committee for Religious Affairs (CRA), IGE’s Vietnam Program Officer Hien Vu observed a three-day provincial level training seminar on the government’s policies on religion, Protestant administration, and the needs of the Protestant church in the Lam Dong province.

The seminar, facilitated by the CRA and the Department of Interior of the Lam Dong province, gathered around 170 Protestant congregation leaders from 12 districts throughout Lam Dong province. According to CRA officials, CRA has conducted seminars on policies on religion and church registration for faith leaders of Protestant churches since the beginning of 2011. Prior to 2011, these trainings were only available for local authorities. CRA hopes the seminars with faith leaders will give more time for officials and faith leaders to discuss policies and policy implementation at the local level and build relationships with one another. This will eventually enable the government’s good governance and provide more support to the spiritual needs of faith groups.

Attendance at the seminar provided an opportunity for IGE to understand the training needs of the government and people faith, and will help IGE’s collaboration with CRA on future seminars.

A segment of the training seminar aired on Lam Dong province’s tv news on 14 July 2011, you can watch the segment on YouTube.