Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong had a meeting with US religious dignitaries on July 7 (local time), stating that Vietnamese people live in harmony without religious or ethnic conflict.

He noted that Vietnam is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation with various religions and 54 ethnic groups. Since 1975, the number of religious followers has risen 2.5 times to 24 million.

The number of religious dignitaries has increased by 2.7 times and numerous worship facilities have been built. Furthermore, almost all Vietnamese families practice the custom of worshiping their ancestors, he said.

The Constitution and law of Vietnam grant all people the right to follow or not follow any religion, stated the Party leader.

He said Vietnam is currently in the process of building a rule-of-law state, with many of its regulations needing supplementation and to be completed.

He welcomed the dignitaries to visit Vietnam and meet local people from various places to enhance understanding of the reality in the country.

David Saperstein, US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom and Robert Seiple, first US ambassador for religious freedom, highlighted the significance of the Vietnamese Party leader’s visit in fostering friendship and promoting similarities between the two nations.

They said many delegates have been to Vietnam and eyed the country’s development and religious life in where people are able to worship freely.

Delegates at the meeting held that as Vietnam and the US are in the reconciliation process, work remains to restore harmony between the two nations. They believed that with the foundations laid by both countries over the past years, the two sides can expect a bright future.

On the occasion, many US religious dignitaries also sent messages greeting the Vietnamese Party chief.