Law on Belief and Religion introduced to foreign diplomats
Updated : Saturday, May 12, 2018 9:04 AM (GMT+0700)

TheGovernment Committee for Religious Affairs held a conference in Hanoi on May 11to introduce the Law on Belief and Religion, and a decree stipulating thedetails of a number of articles of the law and enforcement  measures toambassadors and representatives of diplomatic agencies in Hanoi as well asdomestic ministries and agencies.

At Bai Dinh pagoda - Source: VNA

Vu Chien Thang, Head of theGovernment Committee for Religious Affairs, said that while considering beliefand religion as the demand of people, along with socio-economic developmentpolicies, Vietnam has over the past years paid much attention to and createdfavourable conditions for religious activities of people, including foreignersresiding legally in Vietnam.

As part of the efforts tocomplete legal frameworks on religion, create a favourable legal corridor forreligious activities, and lay a foundation for authorised agencies to improve theirmanagement tasks, the 14th National Assembly adopted the Law onBelief and Religion and gave the Government one year to stipulate the detailsof several articles of the law as well as measures to effectively enforce it,said Thang.

Deputy Head of theGovernment Committee for Religious Affairs Bui Thanh Ha said that Vietnam ishome to many ethnic minorities and religions. Over 95 percent of the Vietnamesepopulation have been practicing belief or religion.

By the end of June 2017, theState has recognised or granted operation registration certificates to 41organisations of 15 religions with about 25.3 million followers, accounting for27 percent of the population, a rise of 35 percent over 2003, along with 60,799dignitaries, 133,662 religious workers and 27,916 worshipping establishments,said Ha.

Over the past years,religious followers have made positive contributions to the cause of nationalconstruction and defence. All recognised organisations have operated in closerelations with the nation and in line with the law, while the majority ofreligious dignitaries and followers have engaged in patriotic, charitable andpoverty reduction movements.

The State of Vietnam hasbeen working hard to observe the rights to freedom of belief and religion ofall people, including foreign nationals legally residing in Vietnam, thushelping religious followers trust in the State’s leadership.

However, Ha also pointed toa number of problems in religious affairs, including some cases of socialdisorder, law violations in religious activities, and the moral and prestigiousdegradation of some religious dignitaries. Particularly, there have been somecases of abusing religion to incite people to cause social disorder and harmthe national solidarity bloc, he said.

He said that the keyprinciple in the State policy on belief and religion is to respect freedom tobelief and religion of all people. Everyone has their rights to follow or notfollow a belief or religion, he said, adding that the rights are respected andobserved by the State and that all religions are equal before the law.

The official also briefedthe participants on new and major contents of the Law on Belief and Religionand the Government’s Decree 162/2017/ND-CP.


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