Vietnam – Saigon: course helps christians spread the faith despite intimidation

5592_VThe seminar brought together 521 volunteers from 91 different parishes. Young people compared their experiences and talked about the difficulties and problems related to proclaiming the Gospel in the country. The importance of media, which improves teaching, was highlighted.Ho Chi Minh City – Spreading the Gospel despite intimidation and learning to use new communication tools to strengthen their faith and improve teaching skills were the main focus of the annual meeting of Vietnamese Christians, which took place in Saigon from 15 to 20 July. Some 521 catechists from 91 parishes and 59 religious from 9 congregations took part in the event. The event was organised by the Vietnamese Bishops’ Conference as part of the initiatives undertaken for the Year of Faith, which will end next November.

“We want to bring the Good News to everyone, and I think to do that we need a strong faith in God but also training. The course is an important opportunity that allows us to share our experiences despite intimidation,” one of the participants said.

“I learnt how to spread the Word of God through the internet and what are the addresses of other Christian websites,” added Vu Hoang Lam Tuan, a christians in the parish of Mau Tam. “Media are important because they help me teach better the hope to young people.”

“We have not yet reached the parishes of Ho Chi Minh City because we lack catechists who can act as a ‘bridge’,” said Fr Nguyen Van Hien, secretary general of the Committee of  Faith. “To deal with this problem, we need better cooperation between vicars and Christian volunteers, who must be able to reach every parish.”

At the end of the meeting, participants prayed together and sang a song dedicated to the memory of Andrew Phu Yen, a Vietnamese martyr killed in 1644 at the age of 18 because of his commitment to evangelising among young people.

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