May 11, 2020 / 18:16

Vietnam allows resumption of religious activities after social distancing period

The Hanoitimes - As of May 11, Vietnam passed through 25 days without new local infection cases.

As the coronavirus pandemic is put under control, Vietnam has allowed the resumption of religious practices while exercising precautions.

 A mass gathering of followers of Buddhism. Photo: Tuoi Tre

As per the permission on May 8 by the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, religious organizations are allowed to resume normal activities but worship places should adhere to disease prevention and control protocol.

Vietnam resumes the religious services after it experienced 23 days without new local transmission of coronavirus.

As requested by Head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs Vu Chien Thang, those who attend mass religious gatherings have to wear face masks and wash hands. People who return from foreign regions hit by the pandemic must be quarantined in 14 days.

The committee also allows clinics run by religious groups to reopen and to give medical treatment to patients. Religious sites can start to welcome domestic visitors.

The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha has not hosted international visitors and overseas Vietnamese, mostly those from affected regions.

On May 7, Thang attended Vesak or Buddha Day, a holiday traditionally observed by Buddhists and some Hindus in South and Southeast Asia as well as Tibet and Mongolia.

 Inside a church in Vietnam's Bac Ninh diocese. Photo: Bac Ninh diocese

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church in Vietnam has also resumed religious activities as normal nationwide.

On May 8, Archbishop Joseph Vu Van Thien of Hanoi said life is returning to normal in Hanoi. “We are pleased to thank God and believe that prayers of the Faithful around the world made a contribution to stemming the pandemic,” the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) reported.

Archbishop Thien called on Catholics to continue Eucharist adoration and praying for countries hit badly by the deadly pandemic and for the world to be in peace. Catholics held Eucharist adoration on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the country’s social distancing period.

All parishes held online masses and general absolution during the three-week stay-at-home period.

Vietnam has 27 dioceses serving some seven million Catholics out of a total population of 96 million.