shame on me for not posting about this earlier! the Baha’i community of Vietnam, after many years of patience, elected its National Spiritual Assembly this year for the first time since the mid-1970s. the procedures for recognition were set in motion several years ago, coming to a head at Naw-Ruz of 2007, when the Vietnamese government issued a certificate to the Baha’i community authorizing their operations in the country. The final certificate, granting full recognition as a religious community, was presented to the community this July. From the Baha’i World News Service:
A certificate was presented to representatives of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Vietnam at a ceremony on 25 July.
It was the final act in a series of steps that included the election four months ago of the Baha’i Assembly – itself a landmark event in that it was the first time in many years that elections for the governing council were held. Government representatives were on hand to observe the balloting.
[…] The official government news agency reported the event and referred to comments by the chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is, Mr. Nguyen Thuc: “(He) said the Government’s recognition of the Baha’i religion ‘charts a new course of development for the entire Baha’i community’ and motivates followers to make more contributions to social and humanitarian activities and to drive to preserve traditional spiritual values.”
Accolades and congratulations have followed steadily from government, institutions and sister Baha’i communities throughout the world, with one of the latest expressions of praise coming from Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister, Truong Vinh Trong, who “expressed his appreciation of the Baha’i Faith’s philosophy and its active contributions to the community”.