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May 18, 2023 / 19:09

US reports unverified information on Vietnam’s religious freedom

Vietnam said the right to freedom of religious practice is enshrined in the Constitution and is a reality.

The report released by the US Government on Vietnam’s religious practices are one-sided, a spokeswoman for Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said today [May 18].

 Vietnam ensures free religious practices. Photo: VNA

“These reports render objective judgments based on unverified and incorrect information about the actual situation in Vietnam,” MoFA Deputy Spokeswoman Pham Thu Hang said at a press conference.

She went on to say: “As we have repeatedly stated, Vietnam always stands ready to discuss matters of mutual concern with the US in an atmosphere of candor, openness, and respect for one another on other matters, thus helping to advance the Vietnam-US Comprehensive Partnership.”

Hang made the statement following the release of the 2022 International Religious Freedom Report by the US Department of State’s Office of International Religious Freedom a few days ago. It reported that many members of religious groups targeted for harassment were also involved in human rights advocacy activities or had links to individuals and organizations that were critical of the government.

Hang affirmed that Vietnam, a country of multiple religions, has maintained its consistent policies on religious freedom and ensured free religious practice for all believers and non-believers.

"The rights are enshrined within the Constitution and codified in the Law on Beliefs and Religions," she noted.

According to local media, Vietnam has affirmed that religious followers are important to national unity. As of 2021, the country recognized 43 religions with 27 followers (accounting for roughly 27% of the population). The country is also home to more than 29,700 places of worship.

The country has facilities for religious education while licensing dozens of religious publications. In addition, it has organized and participated in dozens of international summits on religion.