A meeting to review religious affairs in the northwestern region in 2013 was held in Yen Bai province on November 21.

Though religious followers account for only six percent of the total population in the region, many new issues have arisen regarding religious affairs, especially among Protestants, according to a report.

Some wrongdoers have made corrupt use of the right of religious freedom to divide national unity, especially among the ethnic minority people.

However, after seven years implementing the Prime Minister’s directive 01/2005/CT-TTg on tasks towards Protestantism, the situation has been stabilised, the report said.

Followers’ living conditions have been improved and solidarity between religious and non-religious people and the local authorities has also been strengthened, it added.

The report further said that localities in the region have strengthened information dissemination and education to raise people’s awareness of the Party and State’s policies on religion and belief and encourage them to follow the policies.

However, there are still some shortcomings in the tasks, especially the operation of 20 new religious organisations in the region. The leaders of some organisations which operate illegally have made use of religious freedom to damage national unity and cause political and social disorder.

In the coming time, religious affairs in the region will focus on the further popularisation of the Party and State’s policies and legal documents, upholding the role of Party and youth organisation members and village patriarchs to deal with religious issues at the grassroots level.-VNA