Vietnam respects right to freedom of religion and belief: FM spokesperson hinh anh 1Buddhist monks and nuns pray for global peace during the 2019 United Nations Day of Vesak. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
- Vietnam has consistently pursued the policy of respecting and guaranteeing the right to freedom of citizens to follow or not follow any religion and belief, stated the Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang.

This is clearly stated in the country’s Constitution, continuously improved in its legal system and policies on belief, and guaranteed and respected in reality, she said on July 4 in response to reporters’ queries about Vietnam’s comments on the International Religious Freedom Report released by US Department of State.

Hang further explained that up to 95 percent of the Vietnamese population practise a belief or religion, of which over 24.3 million or 27 percent of the population are religious followers.

Vietnam has 53,000 religious dignitaries and 28,000 worshipping places, she said, adding that there are more than 8,000 religious festivals in the country each year.

The country has hosted many major international religious events such as the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017 and the United Nations Day of Vesak for the third time this year, Hang noted.

The US’s report recognised achievements and progress Vietnam has made in ensuring and promoting religious life, Hang said.  

She stressed that Vietnam and the US have maintained regular information exchanges and worked to intensify mutual understanding about issues of their concern.

However, the report still has some partial evaluations which are based on false information about Vietnam.

Vietnam stands ready to cooperate and hold dialogues with the US in the field in order to narrow differences and strengthen mutual understanding, for the sake of people of the two countries, she said.-VNA