Vietnam respects freedom of religion and belief: FM spokesperson

Friday, 2020-06-12 09:15:55
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UN Day of Vesak in Vietnam in 2019
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NDO/VNA - Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang reiterated on June 11 Vietnam’s consistent policy of respecting and guaranteeing the right of citizens to follow or not follow any religion or belief.

This is clearly stated in Vietnam’s Constitution and legal system as well as guaranteed in practice, Hang said while answering a question raised at the ministry’s regular press conference regarding the country’s reaction to the US Department of State’s 2019 international religious freedom report.

Vietnam has made continuous efforts to perfect its legal system and policies on religion and belief, including approval of the Law on Belief and Religion and decrees guiding its implementation, she emphasised.

Vietnam now has 43 organisations of 16 recognised and certified religions, with 55,000 dignitaries, 26 million followers, or 27 percent of the national population, 29,000 places of worship, and more than 8,000 annual religious festivals, Hang said.

She added that many major international religious events have been held in the country, such as the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the UN Day of Vesak in May 2019, and Capitulum Generale 2019.

Such efforts have been lauded by the international community, she emphasised.

“We acknowledge the US Department of State speaking of Vietnam’s achievements and progress in guaranteeing and promoting religion and belief in the country,” the spokesperson went on.

However, there remain inaccurate and unverified information in the report about the situation in Vietnam, she added.

Vietnam continues to maintain and stands ready to enhance cooperation and have discussions with the US on issues of shared concern in a spirit of frankness, openness, and mutual respect, through bilateral dialogue frameworks, including annual human rights dialogue, thus contributing to promoting the comprehensive partnership between the two countries, Hang stated.