Religious practices by dignitaries and followers in Vietnam were conducted normally in 2010 in line with laws and with help from the authorities at all levels.

This statement was made by the Government’s Committee for Religious Affairs at a conference evaluating State management over religious affairs in 2010 and launching works for 2011, in Hanoi on Feb. 25.

The religious situation was basically stable, the conference chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan was told.

Nhan spoke highly of State management over religious affairs in 2010, affirming that the stable and right-on-track religious work contributed importantly to promoting economic development and social stability.

Nguyen Thanh Xuan, Vice Head of the Government’s Committee for Religious Affairs, said major events organised by various religions had positive effects on the people’s spiritual life as well as on the local and foreign public.

According to him, training courses were provided for more than 18,700 dignitaries and clergymen in 2010.

State-authorised agencies granted certificates of registration to Cao Dai Vietnam (Binh Duc), the representative board of the Brahman community in the central province of Binh Thuan, and the provisionary council of Cham Brahman dignitaries.

As many as 1,160 people were ordained and over 1,600 others were appointed as dignitaries and clergymen.

Up to 506 places of worship were newly built while 558 others were upgraded.

The popularisation of the law on belief and religion to dignitaries, believers and officials in charge of religious affairs were carried out well, according to the official.

Many religious organisations, dignitaries and followers organised humanitarian activities and participated in charitable events in their localities.

They raised thousands of billions of VND for poor families, those who rendered services to the revolution, orphans and homeless elderly.

The religious organisations and individuals were helped to boost their external ties.

In the year, 240 dignitaries and clergymen went abroad for training courses and other related activities.

For 2011, the Committee for Religious Affairs will focus on grasping thoroughly the 11th Party Congress’s resolution on religious affairs and implementing instructions of the Government, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Home Affairs.

It will look to fight the abuse of religion and human rights in the information front and encourage dignitaries and others to counter those who misuse the freedom of religions and belief to establish opposite factions in religions and sow divisions among dignitaries and believers./.