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12/28/2018 Vietnam (International Christian Concern) – In a message sent to Pope Francis and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See, on the occasion of Christmas holidays, the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc invited the latter to visit the country “in the near future”.

The invitation comes in which the Holy See and Vietnam announce the future posting of a resident nuncio in Hanoi, following the seventh meeting of the Joint Working Group between Vietnam and the Holy See held in Hanoi.

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said in a statement, “I believe that this meeting has marked an important progress in the process of developing relations between Vietnam and the Holy See,”. He added, “the purpose of this bilateral relationship is to meet the common interests of the two countries as well as the interests of the Vietnamese Catholic community.”

He goes on to say that the Government of Vietnam “always focuses on national solidarity, uniting Catholics with non-Catholics, and it consistently implements a policy of respect and assurance for the freedom of belief and religion of everyone.”

Nevertheless, despite the warming of Vatican-Vietnam relations, Vietnamese authorities continue to seize Catholic churches property. Likewise, Catholic clergy, activists and dissidents committed to democracy and social justice continue to endure threats and pressures, according to Asia News.

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