Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (right) presents gifts to participants. VNA/VNS Photo
ĐÀ NẴNG Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc had a meeting in the central city of Đà Nẵng on Friday with religious dignitaries who have made outstanding contributions to the construction and safeguarding of the nation, during which he said the interests of each religion are intertwined with those of the nation.
PM Phúc said the Party and State policy is to embrace religious unity and national harmony while ensuring people’s right for religious freedom.
He acknowledged contributions by religious organisations to the nation, adding that recognised religious groups have followed the State’s policies and laws and promoted good moral and cultural values.
The Government leader underlined several challenges that need to be solved in State management of religious affairs, including the incomplete legal framework, overlapping policies and mechanisms and the ineffective implementation of several pieces of the Law on Belief and Religions.
He said authorities in several places had paid little attention to the people’s beliefs and religious needs.
The leader also said there were improper superstitious activities that affect people’s health, time and financial stability.
He expressed his hope that dignitaries and leaders of religious organisations would continue to work with the Government and local authorities at all levels to address issues related to religious affairs in the spirit of respecting the rule of the law and ensuring all people’s religious freedom.
He asked the religious dignitaries to set an example for the implementation of religious policies and laws, and encourage followers to join socio-economic development initiatives.
They should work to prevent outside forces from taking advantage of religious freedom to sow division and hamper the country’s development and international integration, the leader said.
The PM also directed ministries, sectors and localities to continue to respect policies and laws on religious affairs.
According to the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, Việt Nam has recognised and granted licences to 43 religious organisations belonging to 16 religions which have about 26 million followers, including nearly 56,000 dignitaries and more than 29,300 worship sites.
Many religious activities have contributed to spreading the image of the country's land, cultures and people to friends around the world. Notably, there are more than 500 charitable medical facilities set up by religious organisations across the nation. VNS