Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi VNA) – The draft Law on Belief and Religion has protected the religious freedom of people from all social strata, as well as the practice of religious organisations, said Most Venerable Thich Duc Thien, General Secretary of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s Executive Council.

Speaking at a conference held by the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee in Hanoi on August 17 to collect feedback on the draft law, the Most Venerable said the document has dealt with bottlenecks in administrative procedures regarding the State management of beliefs and religions.

Religious organisations enjoy more rights under the draft law, which affirms that religions are entities with a legal personality in the society, he said, adding that religions’ involvement in such areas as publishing, education, health care, social welfare and humanitarian activities is stipulated in the document’s articles.

Pham Huy Thong, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi Committee for Catholic Solidarity, highlighted new articles prescribing the freedom to change religions, along with the religious freedom of prisoners.

Besides this, the appointment and election of religious dignitaries have also been simplified, he said.

Tran Dinh Phung, deputy head of the VFF’s Advisory Council on Religious Affairs, suggested the draft law follow the 2013 Constitution, the Law on Vietnam Fatherland Front and the Law on Belief and Religion to set regulations on the VFF’s responsibility for the religious work.

Many others said religious activities must aim to strengthen the great national unity bloc and serve the country’s industrialisation, modernisation, as well as its national construction and defence.-VNA