Vietnam gurantees the right to freedom of belief and religious of its citizen


The Government Committee for Religious Affairs and the European Union co-organized the international seminar on religions in Viet Nam in context of international integration – international experience”

The seminar was the opportunity for sharing information on  Vietnamese religions in tendency of international integration and the opportunity for exchanging learning and international experience on defense of religions freedom.  Vietnam is a multi religion nation with many religious followers. Religious policy is one of important policies of Vietnamese state and Party. Vietnam has entered the period of innovation since the middle of 1980s, concretely in 1986, when Resolution of the Fourth National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam came into the world. Up to now, Vietnam has achieved great economic, cultural and social achievements. During that time, the renovation of religious policy has contributed important achievements to change basically religious life in Viet Nam.

The evolution of religious life in Vietnam is a result of new awareness of religion and religious policy of Vietnamese Party and State, in which there are two new points: 1. The first point is to identify that religion is a spiritual need of a part of people. There is consistent implementation of policy to respect and guarantee the people’s right to freedom of belief and religion; 2. The second point is to recognize and promote positive cultural and moral values of religions;  encourage progressive activities of religion for benefit of nation and people.
The evolution of religious life affirms that guidelines and religious policy of State and Party are correct, religious followers and dignitaries  believe more in Party and State. Religious followers and leaders actively support and take part in the cause of innovation. Their contributions will help to stabilize policies and develop economy and society of our country.
The evolution of religious life has contributed to recommend the new image of Vietnamese country-  a peaceful, stable and developing country to international friends and communities. Since then, influence and reputation of Vietnamese country will be enhanced all over the world. The change of religious life in Vietnam is evidence against to reactionary tone of hostile forces that distorts religions situation and religious policy of Viet Nam
Religious renovation bases on Vietnamese religious situation, on historic, cultural characteristics and on real condition of Vietnam in the period of innovation and international integration. Renovation of religion in Vietnam is corresponding to that of economy, cultural and society. Vietnam continues to uphold and consistently implement its religious policy in coming times.
PhD. Hoang Van Nghia: Vietnam always respects the right to freedom of belief and religion
Religious variety in religious life and in Vietnamese society is basic feature of Vietnamese culture, especially in the period of integration and development. Together with international integration and deep globalization in all aspects of social life, new religions are introduced into and welcomed in Vietnam. They enrich religious variety in Vietnam.
To recognize religious variety in social life is difficult, but to recognize existence and values of other religions with tolerant and generous attitude is more difficult. However, our attitude towards role of religious variety in social life and preservation of multi-cultural  has an important significance in  respect and guarantee human rights, especially the right to freedom of religion and belief.  
The right to religious freedom in particular  and human rights in general  can only be guaranteed  on basis of  respecting, protecting and promoting  religious diversity. Concurrently, religious variety is a condition and means to implement the  religious freedom and human rights.
 In fact, the respect and guarantee of religious diversity and the right to religious freedom in the world can be implemented basing on tolerant culture – culture of human rights, respect and implementation of international, regional and national standards. This culture helps us to develop human rights, the advance of society, democracy and civilization. Duty of building up and propagating  culture of religious tolerance in particular and culture of human rights in general is a great mission of all religions in  the world, and it is also a great mission of international community, especially of United Nations, of each nation,  of community and  of each individual.
Naturally, human rights expresses the unity between right and duty, moral freedom and legal freedom. Therefore,  the right to freedom of religions and beliefs can not separate from  national and international laws, traditional culture, national identity and economic condition of each nation. Freedom of religion and belief should be carried out in the frame of Vietnamese constitution and laws. Although Vietnamese law defines that: “in case where an international treaty concluded or acceded to, by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam contains a provision that contravenes a provision in this Ordinance, this provision of international treaty shall prevail” (Article No. 38 of Religious Decree 2004)*****, basically, when Vietnamese government jointed international treaty of human rights, Vietnam has duty to  make international regulations suitable to our  system of law. In recent years, our implementation of all necessary legislative, judicial and executive  measures of Vietnam has clearly expressed  our respectful spirit  and serious realization of international treaties.
Mr. Nguyen Thanh Son: Vietnam guarantees the right to religious freedom
International documents on human rights related to the right to freedom of religion and belief there are some  basic principles. Five following principles are also basic principles. Vietnam  has applied these principles to theoretical and practical aspects to guarantee human rights in religious field accordance with current  international trend.
1. Principle of basic human rights:  the right to freedom of religions and beliefs is the basic right. All individuals have right to freedom of religions and beliefs  without any pressure and oppression. Right to freedom of religions is for all people but ethnic people, women, children, disabilities, prisoners or refugees should be cared and protected. The right to freedom of religion and belief shows that everyone has the right to choose, preserve or change his religion or belief.
2. Principle of non discrimination: all forms of discrimination based on religion are rejected. Discrimination  that is expressed under many forms such as prevention, restriction and prejudice is rejected so that it can not harm the  recognition and implementation of the right to freedom of religion on equal basis. International community recognizes that it is necessary for us to advocate religious knowledge, tolerance and respectability when we are resolving religious problems. Any nation, institution, organization or individual must not discriminate against other nations, institutions, organizations or individuals  on basic of religion and belief. All nations need to apply measures that can prevent and eliminate religious discrimination.
3. Principle of legal protection: all nations  that have their  sovereignty need to implement and protect  the right to freedom of religion through legislative measure and other measures. Implementation of the right to freedom of religion and belief must not  violate the law and harm to benefit of community, rights and basic freedom of other people.
The national governments should issue or eliminate laws and apply measures to protect the right to freedom of religion and belief and prevent the religious discrimination. While expressing the right to freedom of religion and belief,  all individuals must abide by regulations of law to protect security, public order, social ethnics or respect rights and basic freedom of others.
4. Principle of strengthening dialogue: it is necessary to encourage religious tolerance. We should replace confrontation with dialogue in order to promote friendship and preserve world peace. The right to freedom of religion and belief  needs to give its contribution to global peace, social justice protection and friendship of nations, communities and organizations. It is necessary for us to strengthen dialogue and  eliminate confrontation in this field. Peace of nations is the final result of all political, social and religious change.
5. Principle of respect for national sovereignty: Religion must not be used as  a tool to intervene internal affairs of  nations. The principle of respect for national sovereignty is a very important principle in international relationship. This principle opposes instigation that creates hostilities between peoples, nations or interferences in internal affairs of other nations on basic of religion and belief.  International community needs to respect implementation of the right to freedom of religion and belief  with an objective, equal and just attitude.

Truong Bach