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Viet Nam, EU talk on religious freedom

Update: October, 09/2015 - 08:54
Illustrative Image. — VNA/VNS Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — More than 100 representatives from State agencies and embassies of European Union (EU) member states in Viet Nam, foreign experts and religious dignitaries gathered at a seminar in Ha Noi yesterday to discuss policies and laws ensuring religious freedom in Viet Nam.

Their discussions focused on the realities of ensuring religious freedom in Viet Nam and the contributions religions have made to the nation's development.

The seminar provided a panorama of the religious communities in Viet Nam and presented a roadmap to improve policies and laws on religious belief, and thus, improving human rights.

The event showed Viet Nam's willingness to engage in dialogues with the EU on religious issues, and to work towards strengthening mutual understanding in the field.

Bui Thanh Ha, deputy head of the government committee for religious affairs, spoke about Viet Nam's religious diversity that involves 24 million religious followers, accounting for 27 per cent of its population.

He underscored that Viet Nam always respects and protects people's right to unfettered belief and religious freedom through comprehensive policies and laws.

Shortly after the country declared independence, President Ho Chi Minh announced his commitment to religious freedom and solidarity between religious and non-religious people and citizens, Ha said.

The 2013 Constitution also clarified that these rights are basic rights of human beings, and have been written into the law, especially through the draft Law on Belief and Religion.

Juan Zaratiegui, Political Advisor of the EU Delegation to Viet Nam, said the union takes the protection of the right to religious freedom for all as an indispensable part of its external policies.

He pledged that the EU is willing to support Viet Nam in the process of drafting the Law on Belief and Religion. — VNS

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