Wednesday, March 21, 2007

While Egypt Plunges Deeper, Vietnam Floats to the Surface


Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 (EST)
Vietnam has legalised the Bahai faith, which authorities say has about 7,000 followers in the communist country, the state-controlled media reported Wednesday.

HANOI (AFP) - Nguyen Huu Oanh, vice chairman of the government's Religious Affairs Committee, "presented a certificate to ratify religious activities of the Vietnam Bahai religious community," said the Vietnam News Agency.

Human rights and religious freedom groups routinely criticise Vietnam for violating religious freedoms, including the harassment of some Buddhist groups and members of mainly Christian Protestant ethnic minorities.

Vietnam pledged greater religious freedom in a government report issued in early February and said that more than 20 million of its 84 million citizens were state-registered followers of major religions in 2005.

The Bahai faith, which stresses the unity of humanity and its religions, was founded in Iran in 1844 and has over five million followers worldwide, according to the official Bahai website in the United States.

Photograph: (courtesy 2007 AFP/File - Sven Nackstrand)

Also see "France 24"


  1. It is clear that God's ways are not our ways, while a communist government is able to recognize the validity of the Baha'i Faith and that its adherents hardly represent a threat to anyone, Egypt with a far more religious culture is unable to do so. It makes one wonder which of these two societies are the more enlightened.

  2. A perfect example of crisis and victory! BTW, reading your comment, I would replace the word "hardly" with "never" just to be accurate...I hope you don't mind.... ;-)

  3. "Religion and Faith" are not expressed by what people believe as beliefs are difficult to see; rather they are expressed by what people do to reflect those beliefs! Deeds, not words, are the true reflection of faith.

    Vietnam appears to be a better practitioner of faith than Egypt, which uses a narrow definition of religion to choke those who confess to different beliefs. What has happened to the true spirit of Islam? While it lives in the many hearts of devout Muslims, the manifestation of its presence at the official level has become not only lacking but also poisonous!

    As a Baha'i, I pray for the true spirit of Islam to return to Egypt and Egyptian society which has protected its minorities and treated them with respect for centuries in the past!

  4. Hopefully, it will be only a matter of time for the change to come through....

  5. Dear Baha'i friends,
    Please be informed that we have a historical celebration and joyous Naw Ruz 164 last night in the occasion of the Government Religious Committee officially hands over the certificate of registration of religious activities to the Baha'i Community of Vietnam.
    The event held at AMARA hotel in HCMC with about 280 participants including 16 Guests from Central Authority such as the Government Religious Committee, representatives of the Ministry of Police. The representative of the City Committee of Party, the Religious Departement in HCMC and Provincipal Religious committee in several provinces. They also send flowers and gifts to congratulation the event.

    After the celebration conducted by the Government Religious Committee, the Baha'i Community of Vietnam hold the ceremony of Naw Ruz 164. After saying prayers, the message congratulation the event of the Universal House of Justice has been read while all of Baha'i believers automatically stand.
    This action cause surprised to the guest and they respect the Baha'i cultural so much. We then show them about the Baha'i principals and the Naw Ruz meanings by Powerpoint Presentation. During the dinner we also show them three VCD about the Shrine of the Bab, From Dark to Light and the Baha'i house of Worship (our community makes) all of VCDs to be translated into Vietnamese. They are all interesting.

    After 32 years since the socialist revolution Baha'i believers of Vietnam having the reunion in the holy climate under the Greatest Name so they very jouful and happy, especially veteran Baha'is fell themselves to be younger again. This morning we read the report of this event in newspaper and can hear by radio broadcast.

    We thank you all of you who pray more for our community to achieve the historical celebration by now. At this joyous time, we remember all of you who have been with us in years with trouble situations.

    Happy Naw Ruz to all of you,


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