Vietnam is a country with ethnical and religious diversity. There are now more than 27 million religious followers, accounting for 27% of the total population, over 54,000 religious dignitaries, 144,000 religious assistants, and nearly 30,000 places of worship, Ky told a press meeting held by the Ministry of Information and Communications in Hanoi on April 11.

The country is also home to a diverse system of beliefs with 50,703 belief-associated establishments, including about 3,000 relics, some of which were recognized as world heritage sites by UNESCO, he added.

The press meeting held by the Ministry of Information and Communications in Hanoi on April 11

He went on to say that the legal system serving as the legal basis for protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief has been perfected, including the Law on Belief and Religion and the revised Land Law. The dissemination of the Party’s viewpoints and the State’s policies and laws on belief and religion has been improved.

Religious organizations in Vietnam have been given favorable conditions to operate in line with their charters and statutes as well as legal regulations, Ky said, noting that the State has always paid attention to and created conditions for all religions to have their activities held normally.

Belief adherents and religious followers can express their beliefs freely at home, places of worship, or the sites registered with authorities. Besides, followers of a religion that hasn’t been recognized as a religious organization or given a registration certificate have still been given conditions to hold concentrated religious activities at legal sites, according to the official.

Many important religious ceremonies have attracted a large number of followers and also become common events of the community such as Christmas or Buddha’s birthday celebration.

In 2023, Ky said, the Ministry of Home Affairs recognized “Phat giao Hieu nghia Ta Lon” and “Hoi thanh phuc am toan ven Viet Nam” as religious organizations and approved the proposal to establish the Vietnamese Baptist Theology Seminary.

As of December 2023, the State had recognized 38 religious organizations. Local authorities also licensed thousands of sites for concentrated religious activities, including over 60 sites for foreigners who legally reside in Vietnam.

For Protestantism alone, between 2021 and 2023, 170 sites of concentrated religious activities and six religious organizations were approved in the Northern mountainous region. Meanwhile, 11 organizations of this religion were also recognized in the Central Highlands.

Ky said that the State has also paid attention to religion-related land issues. More than 70% of the religious establishments nationwide have been granted land use right certificates. The State has provided favorable conditions for religious organizations to repair, upgrade, and build religious facilities.

In addition, international relations of religious organizations have been facilitated, helping to introduce the Party and State’s viewpoint and policy on the protection of the right to freedom of religion to the international community.

Vietnam - Vatican relations are making progress, Ky stressed, adding that in July 2023, their leaders agreed to elevate the bilateral ties to the status of Resident Papal Representative in Vietnam, and approve the “Agreement on the Status of the Resident Papal Representative and the Office of the Resident Papal Representative in Vietnam.”

Source: VNA