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|Vietnam respects right to freedom of religion and belief: FM spokesperson|
|Vietnam respects freedom of religion, belief: official|
Foreign ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang at Thursday's press briefing in Hanoi. — VNA/VNS Photo Lam Khanh
“As we have repeatedly reaffirmed, Vietnam’s consistent policy is to respect and ensure the rights to freedom of religions and beliefs as well as freedom of non-religion or non-beliefs of its citizens,” foreign ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang said on Thursday in a press briefing in Hanoi.
“This has been demonstrated clearly in Vietnam’s Constitution and legal system and has been observed in real life,” Hang continued.
In recent times, Vietnam has always worked to improve its policies on religion and belief, including the passing of the Law on Religion and Belief and accompanying decrees detailing the implementation of the law.
Currently, Vietnam has 43 registered organisations under 16 religions that have been granted operating licences, with 55,000 religious dignitaries, 145,000 employees and 29,000 places of worship.
Up to 95 per cent of the Vietnamese population exercise some forms of religion or beliefs, including 26 million believers, accounting for around 27 per cent of the whole population, Hang said, adding that annually, there are 8,000 religious festivals held that attract large gatherings of not only believers but also the public.
In particular, many major international religious activities have been successfully organised in Vietnam, including the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in HCM City in 2017 and the United Nations Day of Vesak in May 2019.
Hang said these efforts have been recognised and appreciated by the international community.
“We recognise that the US Department of States has mentioned achievements and improvements Vietnam has made in the ensuring and promoting religion in Vietnam, however, the 2019 report still contains inaccurate and unverified information regarding the situation in Vietnam,” the foreign ministry spokesperson said.
Vietnam will continue to maintain and stands ready to enhance cooperation and exchanges with the US side on issues of mutual concerns in the spirit of frankness, openness and mutual respect, via bilateral dialogues, including the annual human rights dialogues, to help foster the comprehensive partnership between the two countries, according to Hang.
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