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VietNamNews

Nation respects religious freedom

Update: February, 27/2013 - 07:31

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung stressed the need to be vigilant against hostile forces that take advantage of religion to undermine national unity and political order.—Photo Chinhphu.vn

 

HA NOI (VNS)— The Party and State of Viet Nam respect people's right to religious freedom and ensure all religions observe the law, said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at a working session with leaders of the Government's Committee for Religious Affairs in Ha Noi yesterday.

During the session, the Government leader asked the committee to work hard to maximise achievements and overcome limitations while overseeing State management of religions, mainly in an advisory capacity.

Dung stressed the need to be vigilant against hostile forces that take advantage of religion to undermine national unity and political order.

Viet Nam is home to 13 religions and 36 religious organisations licensed by the State, with 24 million followers (27 percent of the total population), 83,000 dignitaries and 25,000 worshipping sites, according to the committee.

Even many non-religious people have worshipping rituals dedicated to their ancestors and gods and to those who made great contributions to the nation, which can be seen in various festivals across the country.

The head of the committee, Pham Dung, who is also the Deputy Interior Minister, said religious activities generally abided by the law and religious organisations took an active part in social life, especially in the fields of charity and humanitarian work.

These organisations helped bring Viet Nam closer to the world, he said.

Dung also noted that State management of religions was still hampered by a shortage of legal documents on religion and belief. Of the documents that do exist, many were outdated in the context of international integration.

Moreover, illegal missionary work and superstitions still existed among ethnic minority groups and at border areas, he said. — VNA

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