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The Vietnam Baha’i Community

Baha’i faith is a young religion first introduced in 1863 in Persian (Iran) by Baha’u’llah, which means “Glory of God”.

Baha’i followers believed that all religions in the world are created by God and God has these religions revealed to humanity through a series of divine messengers, each of whom established a religion that was suited to the needs of the time and to the capacity of the people. These messengers have included Moses, Jesus, Muhammad as well as Krishna, Buddha, and others. For Baha’is, the most recent messengers are the Báb and Baha’u’llahs.

The fundamental principles of Baha’i Faith include: God is the only highest Supreme Being; all religions come from one and the same source, each and every human being belongs to the human family, for they are children of God. Thus, the Baha’i faith works towards replacing conflicts and contentions between nations and religions with kindness, sharing forgivingness and elimination of poverty.

According to Baha’u’llah, humanity is now coming of age. It is this that makes possible the unification of the human family and the building of a peaceful, global society. Among the principles which the Baha’i Faith promotes as vital to the achievement of this goal are the abandonment of all forms of prejudice, assurance to women of full equality of opportunity with men, recognition of the unity and relativity of religious truth, the elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth, the realization of universal education, the responsibility of each person to independently search for truth, the establishment of a global commonwealth of nations, recognition that true religion is in harmony with reason and the pursuit of scientific knowledge.

In addition, Baha’u’llah taught of the need for world government in this age of humanity's collective life. Because of this emphasis the international Baha’i community has chosen to support efforts of improving international relations through organizations such as the League of Nations and the United Nations, with some reservations about the present structure and constitution of the UN. The Baha’i International Community has consultative status with the following organizations: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), World Health Organization (WHO). The Baha’i International Community has offices at the United Nations in New York and Geneva  and representations to United Nations regional commissions and other offices in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Nairobi, Rome, Santiago, and Vienna. 

It’s currently estimated that the Baha’i community now numbers some six million members. They represent more than 2,000 ethnic and tribal groups and live in over 116,000 localities in more than 200 countries and 45 dependent territories. The Baha’i community in the world is globally organized and divided into global, national and local levels. At the top is the International House of Justice, located in Haifa, Israel. Under the International Court of Justice are the Spiritual Assembly in countries and the Spiritual Assembly in countries’ localities.

Baha’i faith was brought into Vietnam in 1954. On February 18 1954, with the consensus of India Spiritual Assembly, Mrs. Shirin Fozdar came to Saigon to work as a missionary and a year later, the first Spiritual Assembly in Vietnam was established in Saigon, consisting of 9 members. In 1964, the first National Spiritual Assembly was established, demonstrating the growth of Baha’i in Vietnam and this establishment is considered as the landmark for the Baha’i Community of Vietnam.

From 1964 to 1975, the Baha’i faith in Vietnam continued to develop and consolidate its organizational structure. From 1975 to early 1990s, followers of Baha’i in Vietnam practiced the religion mainly at home.

From late 1990s onward, Baha’i faith started to revive with a rapid increase in number of new converts as well as the expansion of its organization structure. Under the Ordinance of Belief and Religion 2004, the Baha’i religion in Việt Nam was granted the registration certificate for operation in Match 2007. On Match 21, 2008, the Vietnam Baha’i Community organized its first general congress for electing the Spiritual Assembly and approving the Charter and program of religious activities. 

The establishment of a national spiritual assembly has helped Baha’i faith to resolve common issues at country level and closely work with state authorities for the advancement of country and its people. To meet the aspiration of the Baha’i Community of Vietnam, on July 14, 2008, Chairman of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs signed Decision No. 150/QĐ-TGCP on official recognition of the Baha’i Community of Vietnam as a religious organization and on July 25 2008, the Government Committee for Religious Affairs officially handed over the Decision to the Baha’i community.

Soon after being granted organizational recognition, the Baha’i Community of Vietnam attended a regional conference in with the participation of over 2,000 co-religionists from Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Representatives from the Baha’i Advisory Board for Asia often come to join Baha’i activities in Vietnam at the invitation of Vietnam Baha’i Community. In 2012, the first group of pilgrims from Baha’i community of Vietnam came to the Baha’i World Center in Haifa and Akka in Israel.

Over the past years the Baha’i Community of Vietnam focused works on the children, the youth, the family and the community and considered works on these for groups as vital for improving all social aspects at country and global levels. The Vietnam Baha’i Community set up study groups and prayer groups for youth and families in communities in order to educate children and adults to become good citizens of the country. In their works, the Spiritual Assembly of the Vietnam Baha’i Community emphasized moral education, provision of spiritual knowledge and strengthening of human contacts, including contacts between children and their parents, with the aim to realize of Baha’i faith’s visions and goals of well-being, justice, equity, unity in diversity, advancement of human civilization

Currently, the Vietnam Baha’i Community has about 7,000 followers residing in 43 provinces and cities throughout the country, but concentrating mainly in provinces and cities of Hà Nội, Đà Nẵng, Quảng Nam, Gia Lai, Ninh Thuận, Bình Thuận, TP Hồ Chí Minh, Cần Thơ, Sóc Trăng, Hậu Giang, Kiên Giang… 

In 2014, the Baha’i Community of Vietnam solemnly organized the 7th National Convention in Ho Chi Minh city which also marks 60th anniversary of the Baha’i faith in Vietnam (1954 - 2014) and 50th anniversary of the first National Spiritual Assembly in Vietnam (1964 - 2014)…. Mr. Gary.L. Morrison, member of the first National Spiritual Assembly in Vietnam attended the event at the invitation of the Vietnam Baha’i Community. On the occasion of 60th anniversary of the Baha’i faith in Vietnam and 50th anniversary of the first National Spiritual Assembly in Vietnam, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Chairman of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs Phạm Dũng highly valued Baha’i Community’s religious activities and fruitful participation in charitable activities, making important contributions to build the great national unity bloc in the country.

For 60 years of development in Vietnam, the Baha’i Community of Vietnam has consistently shown tolerance and respect to other religions in the country; presented proactive live styles and conducted many activities practically improving religious and secular life, building and developing the country. With the motto “observing the law of the residing country, regarding other religions as brothers in one and the same family, building unity in diversity, striving to serve humanity” and the operating principles of Baha’i faith defined in its Charter, the Baha’i Community of Vietnam will firmly   implement Baha’u’llah’s teachings and make further contributions to the development of the country./.

The Vietnam Baha’i CommunityBaha’i followers believed that all religions in the world are d by God and God has these religions revealed to humanity through a series of divine messengers, each of whom established a religion that was suited to the needs of the time and to the capacity
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