📝 OP-ED: Legal regulations increasingly perfected to guarantee religious freedom hinh anh 1
Hanoi (VNA) – The Party and State of Vietnam have been making continuous efforts to perfect policies and legal regulations on religion and belief.

Resolutions and directives recently issued by the Party have ordered the continued enhancement of protecting the right to freedom of religion and belief for all people, improvement of competent agencies and individuals’ sense of responsibility towards the task, and promotion of the state management over religion and belief-related issues.

📝 OP-ED: Legal regulations increasingly perfected to guarantee religious freedom hinh anh 2The Buddha bathing ritual at a pagoda (Photo: VNA)
To better institutionalise the Party and State’s viewpoints and policies, the Government agreed in principle to amend and supplement Decree No. 162/2017/ND-CP, which was released in 2017 to detail some articles and measures for enforcing the Law on Belief and Religion. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) is working to make comprehensive revision to this decree.

Accordingly, the MoHA plans to further detail and align some articles on the law implementation with the reality while adding some measures for the enforcement.

Online religious activities are a new issue in legal regulations on religion and belief. The draft revised decree stressed the responsibility for organising online or hybrid religious activities, and that those activities must adhere to the Constitution, the Law on Belief and Religion and other relevant rules.

The draft also supplemented three articles on concentrated religious practices of foreigners legally residing in Vietnam.

Talking about this issue, the MoHA said the registration for concentrated religious practices of foreigner legally residing in Vietnam was stipulated in Article 47 of the Law on Belief and Religion. In reality, such activities have been basically ensured by the provincial-level People’s Committees over the past years.

📝 OP-ED: Legal regulations increasingly perfected to guarantee religious freedom hinh anh 3The Plei Mo Nu Evangelical Church in Chu A commune of Pleiku city, Gia Lai province (Photo: VNA)
Meanwhile, the ministry has also built the Government’s draft decree on the settlement of administrative violations related to belief and religion. It is seeking public feedback on this draft.

Deputy Minister Vu Chien Thang said this decree is to help institutionalise the policy on building and completing a law-governed socialist state; ensure that all people, including religious individuals and organisations, live and work in line with the Constitution and law; and promote the consistency among legal rules on belief, religion and settlement of administrative violations.

As religion is a sensitive issue which has been often abused by hostile and reactionary forces to conduct distortion and sabotage, during the decree drafting process, the MoHA and relevant ministries carried out sufficient procedures stipulated in the Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents, including collecting opinions from agencies, people, religious organisations and those licensed to hold religious activities, he noted.

The right to freedom of religion and belief is one of the most universal human rights stated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam is a party, the official said, adding that the country has ensured its legal regulations’ compatibility with international law.

Aside from managing religious and belief-related activities, the State has also created conditions for individuals and religious organisations to practice their rights in line with law, which matches the policy on building a law-governed state with human rights guaranteed, according to Thang./.