As Christmas approaches, the Vietnam Bishops' Commission for Evangelism has called on the faithful of the country to take part in a holiday evangelism drive to spread the joy and message of Christmas to the people. non-Christians. Father Jean-Baptiste Truong Thanh Cong, member of the commission, ensures that non-Christian passersby, be they Buddhists or even atheists, are numerous to be attracted by the many events organized by the local communities on this occasion (living cribs, Christmas concerts, cultural performances and gift distributions. ..): "Christmas is a holiday for everyone, and the joys of Christmas must be shared widely. "

The Episcopal Commission for Evangelization of the Vietnam Bishops' Conference called on the country's Catholics to organize cultural activities in the run-up to Christmas to welcome people of other religions and to make them aware of the significance of this season for Christians. Fr. Jean-Baptiste Truong Thanh Cong, a member of the commission, says Christmas is the perfect opportunity for Catholics to introduce their values ​​to others. Father Cong adds that many of the faithful of other faiths, even atheists, are coming to churches across the country on Christmas Eve, when they see the decorations, the illuminations, the Christmas trees, the scenes of Nativity, living nativity scenes, cultural representations and other festivities. The priest,"Christmas is a holiday for all, and the joys of Christmas must be shared widely,"He continues. Father Cong, 65, says that if people of other faiths are warmly welcomed, they will keep a good impression on Catholics and on Christmas, and they will be ready to open their hearts to listen to God's message.. The priest invites Catholics to enjoy Christmas to talk about their faith in others and build good relationships with them. He also suggests that in parishes, disguised children visit families, businesses and places of worship to offer gifts such as fruit, cakes and Christmas cards, singing Christmas carols. Father Cong is parish priest of Rach Vop, Soc Trang province, in southern Vietnam, where there are many Buddhists of Khmer or Chinese origin. This is why he invites Catholics to invite them to participate in the Christmas celebrations and explain the meaning of the holiday. It also invites parishes to set up nurseries in public places, restaurants, schools and homes, to convey the spirit of Christmas. The priest also offers to organize cultural events and games for visitors, and cheap meals or free for all in churches.

Pierre Nguyen Ngoc Giao, social worker for the archdiocese of Hue, in central Vietnam, says that nuns plan to hold Christmas Eve parties and offer gifts to children from non-Catholic families, orphans, the homeless and the disabled. Pierre Giao also explains that the parish of Khe Sanh in Quang Tri province will give gifts to five hundred people of the Van Kieu ethnic group who live in poverty. Other congregations suggest that Catholics in the region invite non-Catholics to join them in participating in their church's Christmas celebrations. Many parishes in the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City have also set up nativity scenes and decorated their churches with illuminations and flowers to invite people to enter. Many local communities have planned Christmas carols, eve- nings and gifts for those in need, to spread the joy of Christmas and the sense of celebration. Government authorities themselves are invited to participate. The Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City also called on Catholics to pray and donate for the work of evangelism in this time of Advent. Thus, the archdiocese received 400 m² of land donated by Catholics in the region, and purchased 18,000 m² of land to expand mission stations or build new ones. In all, 22 missions were created between 2015 and 2018. The Christmas party is not a holiday in Vietnam, which remains a communist country.

(Source: Églises d'Asie - le 11/12/2019, With Ucanews, Ho Chi Minh City)