On Thursday September 29th, at the request of the Vietnamese Embassy IGE President, Dr. Chris Seiple briefed a Vietnamese delegation from the Communist Party’s Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilization on religious freedom and religious policies of the United States. The purpose of the delegation’s visit to the United States was to learn about the U.S. policies to ensure the rights of freedom and democracy for its people; U.S. policies and Governmental management of issues concerning religious affairs, ethnic people and traditional culture preservation activities; how different religions work together; and the differences between nationalities in the United States. IGE was the first organization the delegation met with during their ten-day visit to the United States.

During the meeting, Dr. Seiple spoke about religious freedom and how it is a common value between the U.S. and Vietnam, and worldwide. Dr. Seiple also shared with the delegation about how religious freedom encourages the stability of the state by allowing its religious believers to contribute to a flourishing society. For religious freedom to thrive in Vietnam, Dr. Seiple emphasized the critical need for religious leaders to have proper training and education: for religious leaders, so they can live out the values of their faith as loyal citizens; and for government leaders, so they can encourage the contribution local believers to the common good.

In addition, Dr. Seiple explained to the delegation about the first amendment and how non-profits, including religious organizations, registered in the United States. Finally, Dr. Seiple spoke about his understanding of the challenges and religious situation in Vietnam, and recognized the efforts made by the government and religious groups towards religious freedom in Vietnam.

The delegation acknowledged the close relationship that IGE has with Vietnam, especially with the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington, D.C., and said they look forward to continuing the friendship and partnership on promoting religious freedom in Vietnam.