VFF President Nguyen Thien Nhan is speaking (Source: VNA)
Religious dignitaries have urged the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) to work harder in the role as a bridge linking the Party, State and the people with religious followers.

Representatives from religious organisations made the call at a meeting with officials from the VFF and State agencies in Hanoi on September 4.

The dignitaries hailed the organisation of the meeting, the second of its kind this year, as a meaningful initiative of VFF’s Central Committee.

They said more regular meetings between the VFF and religious dignitaries should be held for the VFF to learn about the religious community’s aspirations while updating the community on the latest Party and State policies as well as VFF’s action plans.

Participants voiced their feedback on the fifth draft on the Law on Belief and Religion, noting that the draft introduces many new points and more specific stipulations compared to the existing Ordinance on Belief and Religion.

The State of Vietnam has recognised 41 organisations of 14 religions, including Buddhism, Catholicism, Caodaism, Hoa Hao Buddhism, Vietnamese Pure Land Buddhism Association, Protestantism, Islamism, “ Tu An Hieu nghia ” sect (Four debts of gratitude), Baha’i sect, Buu Son Ky huong, Minh Su sect, Minh Ly sect under the Three-Religion Temple, Brahmanism and Mac Mon sect.

The 14 religions have in total 22.1 million followers, 80,000 dignitaries, 25,900 places of worship, 102 training facilities and 761 charity establishments.

An estimated 95 percent of Vietnamese population is currently practicing a religion or a belief.

VFF President Nguyen Thien Nhan informed the religious dignitaries that the draft law will be submitted to the National Assembly for consideration this October, and the VFF will report the dignitaries’ recommendations to the National Assembly.-VNA