THE PRIME MINISTER
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness
Hanoi, December 31, 2008
ON RELIGION-RELATED HOUSING AND LAND
In implementing the Party's guidelines and policies and the State's laws on religion, ministries, services and localities have over the past time made numerous efforts in religious affairs and attained certain achievements. Religious activities generally comply with law and most religious followers have been pleased and happy with and confident in the Party's and State's guidelines and policies and made active contributions to the national construction. The needs of followers of religions for religious practices, including housing and land use, have increased together with the national development process. However, given historical backgrounds, several issues in the State management of housing and land use in general, and those related to religion in particular are beginning to emerge that need to be adjusted.
To ensure unified, lawful and practical management of religion-related housing and land use, contributing to national construction and development and strengthening the great all-nation unity, the Prime Minister requires ministries, services and People's Committees of provinces and cities under central authority to redress the management of religion-related housing and land use; review master plans on land management and use; and timely guide the settlement of matters concerning religion-related housing and land, ensuring harmony between religious and national interests.
The management and use of religion-related housing and land must comply with policies and laws and the following principles and contents:
1. Belief and religion are spiritual needs of a segment of the population, which currently exist and will exist throughout the process of building socialism in the country. Followers of religions are an integral part of the great all-nation unity. The Party and State respect and guarantee the religious organizations’ and followers’ right to religious activities in accordance with the law and their legitimate demand for housing and land for religious purposes.
2. When a religious establishment has a legitimate need for housing or land use, on the basis of State policies on religion, the master plan and the planning for land uses, and the local land fund, the People's Committee of the province or centrally-run city where such a religious establishment belongs to shall consider allotting an housing and/or land area according to prescribed legal procedures.
3. Religion-related housing and land, which were managed and allotted for uses by the State in the implementation of policies on housing and land management. and the socialist reform related to housing and land promulgated prior to July 1, 1991, shall be managed and used in compliance with the National Assembly's Resolution No 23/2003/QH11 dated November 26, 2003, and related legal documents. Attention should be given to the specific cases as the followings:
a) An agency or organization commissioned by the State to use and manage religion-related housing or land shall use such housing or land properly and efficiently without hurting religious feelings of religious people. When it fails to do so, the People's Committee of a province or city under central authority shall reclaim that housing or land for national and public interests; when a religious organization needs to use that housing or land for proper religious purposes, the People's Committee of a province or city under central authority may, on a case-by-case basis, consider allotting that housing or land with an appropriate area to such organization; or create conditions for that organization to build a new facility according to law provisions.
b) Land used by religious organizations for agricultural or forestry production, non-agricultural production and businesses, or establishments serving charity activities, and land used by religious organizations under Clause 1, Article 99 of the Land Law (including transfers and donations prior to July 1, 2004), which is currently certified by commune-level People's Committees as free of dispute, shall be granted land use right certificates, used under the regime corresponding to land category used by households and individuals in regards to purposes of the users, and have its use purpose changed according to decisions of provincial-level People's Committees; land used by religious organizations for agricultural or forestry production, non-agricultural production and businesses, or establishments serving charity activities, which is not the one allotted by the State and not held liable to land use levy, may be transferred, donated or have its use rights leased or mortgaged in compliance with the land law.
When a religious organization receive a land use right transferred or donated involved in a dispute, such dispute must be completely settled in compliance with law provisions before issuing the land use right certificate;
c) When a decision on settlement of a case involving religion-related land is issued, a competent state agency shall notify the religious organization and its followers thereof for compliance.
Acts designed to take advantage of the settlement of religion-related housing and land to cause social disorder, undermine the great all-nation unity and community solidarity, or violate the law shall be strictly handled as stipulated by the law.
4. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Construction, concerned ministries and services and People's Committees of provinces and cities under central authority shall, within the ambit of their functions, tasks and powers, redress the management and use of religion-related housing and land; consider and settle each specific case based on religion and land policies, the land fund of each locality and religious organizations' demand; and direct professional agencies in speeding up the grant of land use right certificates to eligible religious organizations as stipulated by the land law.
5. Ministries, services and People's Committees of provinces and cities under central authority shall coordinate with the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee and its member organizations in grasping, intensively and extensively propagating, and strictly implementing the Party's guidelines and policies and the State's laws on belief, religion and housing and land and other relevant regulations.
6. Ministers, heads of ministerial-level agencies, heads of bodies under the Government and Chairmen of People's Committees of provinces and cities under central authority shall work out plans to implement this Instruction and annually report thereon to the Prime Minister.
Any problem still existed or newly arising in the process of implementing this Instruction should be reported to the Prime Minister for consideration and decision.
7. The Government Committee for Religious Affairs shall coordinate with concerned agencies in monitoring and urging the implementation of this Instruction./.
Nguyễn Tấn Dũng