Vietnam’s communist government looks set to formally recognize the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Vietnam or the Mormon Church.
The Government Committee for Religious Affairs (CRA), which manages and controls all religious activities in Vietnam, officially acknowledged the Representative Committee of the Mormon Church on May 31.
The acknowledgement is the first step toward fully recognizing the denomination’s activities and the organization in law.
Bui Thanh Ha, religious affairs deputy chief, said the five-member Mormon committee “operates within Vietnam’s laws and its regulations have been approved by the state.”
Formal recognition would make it easier for the Mormon church to conduct religious activities and serve society, he said.
The Mormon Church arrived in South Vietnam in 1962. Following the communist takeover in 1975 and their crackdown on religious activities, many followers fled abroad while others quietly practiced their faith at home.
The church did not resume its activities openly until 1995.
Religious affairs reported the church has over 1,000 followers mostly in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Its headquarters is based in Hanoi and headed by Hoang Van Tung.