On its online statistics page, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not show membership numbers in Vietnam — no numbers on branches, wards, or Family History Centers.
That will most likely change after Thursday’s recognition of the church in Vietnam.
Madam Thieu Thi Huon of the Vietnam Government Committee for Religious Affairs presented an official certificate authorizing members of the church to conduct religious activities in the county, in compliance with a new religious law established in 2018, according to a church press release.
With a land dotted with Buddhist pagodas and museums of the Vietnam War, the recognition of Latter-day Saints’ religion is significant, according to the church.
Nearly 150 people witnessed the historic moment at the ceremony held at the JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi. Among the attendees were interfaith leaders, dignitaries from CRA and the Ministry of Public Security in Vietnam, representatives from the US Embassy, as well as church members and friends, the release said.
Madam Huong expressed appreciation to the church and its members for their high moral conduct and contributions to building the society of Vietnam.
Hoang Van Tung, chairman of the new coordinating committee for the church in Vietnam, said members are committed to continue abiding by the laws that govern religious activities in Vietnam, the press release said.
Elder David F. Evans, president of the church’s Asia Area, accompanied by his counselor Elder David P. Homer, expressed gratitude to government officials in Vietnam for granting this certification and committed “to work together in new, fresh, and wonderful ways.”
“As the Church grows in Vietnam,” Elder Evans said in the press release, “members will continue to build faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, follow His teachings, be good citizens, obey the law, build strong families and make society a better place.”
Vietnam has a population of 95 million with the capital in Hanoi.
Neighboring Cambodia has 14,725 members of the church. President Russell M. Nelson is currently on an Global Ministry Tour in Asia, where there are 1.2 million members of the church, 45 missions, 2,139 congregations, eight temples and 349 Family History Centers.