Jul 05, 2019 / 11:13

Vietnam again argues for religious freedom after US report

The Hanoitimes - Hanoi said the US report on Vietnam`s religious situation remains biased.

Vietnam keeps pursuing consistent policies on respecting and protecting the freedom of both religious and non-religious practices, Hanoi said in response to the US Department of State’s report which it called biased towards Vietnamese situation. 
 
Spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Infonet
Spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Infonet
“Such regulations are stipulated in the Constitution and Vietnam continues completing the legal framework to make policies on beliefs fully realized in reality,” Spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirmed. 

The US State Department’s report remains non-objective about the situation in Vietnam due to distorted information, Hang said, adding that Hanoi is willing to engage in dialogues with Washington to make things clear for the sake of the two peoples. 

The spokeswoman said Vietnam has 24.3 million or 27% of population is categorized as religious believers, which does not include persons professing some kind of religious or spiritual beliefs. The community of religious followers includes 53,000 dignataries, 134,000 ministers, and 28,000 worship places. 

Statistics by the Vietnamese Government Committee for Religious Affairs showed that 14.91% of the population is Buddhist, 7.35% Roman Catholic, 1.09% Protestant, 1.16% Cao Dai, and 1.47% Hoa Hao Buddhist.

The country is home to more than 8,000 festivals annually. Vietnam has been hosting a number of international religious events like Vesak and the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017, according to the spokeswoman. 

Current regulations in force in Vietnam state that forcing others to follow, or renounce, a religion or belief is prohibited.

In June, the US Department of State issues the annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom which describes the status of religious freedom in every country.