Vietnam has always pursued a policy of safeguarding citizens’ rights to religion and belief freedom, as stipulated in the country’s Constitution and legal framework, Head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs Pham Dung affirmed.

Addressing an international conference in Hanoi on September 25, Dung, who also acts as Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, said religious practices were common throughout Vietnam, since a quarter of the population was religious. The country has 14 religions, 38 religious organisations, 78,000 dignitaries and over 24 million believers.

Religions and spiritual beliefs were diversifying Vietnamese culture, Dung stated. Dignitaries and believers played an active role in the processes of nation-building and national security, he said.

Delphine Malard, Head of the Politics, Press and Information Section of the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam, spoke highly of the positive changes in religious policies in Vietnam.

No nation was perfect in terms of religious freedom, she said, touching upon the necessity to consider the role of religion and beliefs in driving development.

After the conference, a training course on religious issues will be held in Buon Ma Thuat city in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak from September 29-30, with the participation of religious dignitaries and State officials working in the field of religion in 15 localities in the Central Highlands and southern region.-VNA