Policies and Guidelines of the Communist Party of Vietnam Regarding Belief and Religion


During its leadership of the revolution as well as since its governing of society and the country, the Communist Party of Vietnam has paid consistent attention to religion and has adopted policies on belief and religion that have been sound and appropriate for each stage of the revolution.

In 1986, Vietnam began to implement its policy of Reform and Renewal (Đổi mới). On 16 October 1990, the Politburo that had been elected from the VIth Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam renovated its policies regarding religion through Resolution No. 24-NQ/TW, “Strengthening Religious Affairs in the New Situation". On 12 March 2003, after thirteen years of implementing that policy on religion and after summarizing its actual practice and reviewing newly changing issues that had recently emerged in both the domestic and international context, the Politburo of the IXth Congress passed Resolution No. 25-NQ/TW, “Religious Affairs". This became the policy for the Party and the State of Vietnam regarding religion for the period of Reform and Renewal. The ideas of Resolution No. 25 can be summarized as follows:

Religious activities and religious affairs in this new period should: Strengthen the unity among followers of different religions within the context of great national unity; develop the general strength of all ethnic groups; contribute to successful implementation of the country’s industrialization and modernization; and build and defend the stability of the Homeland.
Belief and religion are spiritual needs of a segment of the population. Those needs currently exist and will continue to co-exist with the nation during the process of building socialism in Vietnam. Followers of different religions are an integral part of Vietnam’s great national unity. There is consistent implementation of the policy to respect and guarantee the people’s right to freedom of belief, the right to follow or not to follow any religion, and the right to take part in normal religious activities according to the law. Religious activities must be in accordance with the legal framework. All religions are equal before the law.
The Party and the State of Vietnam consistently implement a policy of great national unity; they do not discriminate in treatment on the basis of belief and religion. They promote the unity of followers of different religions and unity between believers and non-believers. Great national unity with the goal of a prosperous people, a strong nation, and a society that is equitable, democratic, and cultured draws followers of religions together in a common cause. Each citizen – regardless of belief or religion – has both the right and the responsibility to build and protect the Homeland. The Party and the State encourage the people to uphold their patriotic spirit and determination to protect the independence and unity of the Homeland; through socio-economic policies as well as public security and national defense, ensure material and spiritual needs of the people at large, including followers of religions.
The positive values in the tradition of worshipping ancestors and honoring those who have made great contributions to the nation and the people should be maintained and developed. Discrimination in treatment of citizens on the grounds belief or religion is prohibited. Simultaneously, it is prohibited to take advantage of belief or religion to engage in superstitious activities, in activities that are illegal or contrary to national policy, or in activities that encourage dissidence among the people or between ethnic groups or that disturb puplic order or encroach upon national security.
Religious affairs are the responsibility of the entire political system. They are related to many spheres of the society, to many levels of the administration and different branches of activity given the fact that the spiritual and material life of tens of millions of followers, religious leaders, and members of religious orders reach across all regions, and localities across the country.
Each follower has the right to practice religion at home within the family and at legitimate places of worship as stipulated by the law. Religious organization officially recognized by the State are entitled to conduct lawful activities and are protected by the law. These activities include: Opening schools to train religious leaders and members of religious communities; publishing religious documents and books; and maintaining, repairing, and building places of religious worship in accordance with legal regulations. Those engaged in religious evangelization, along with every other religious activity, must abide by the Constitution and the law; it is forbidden to use the cover of religion to promote obscurantist sects or superstition, and it is forbidden to force people to follow a religion or to abandon a religion.
Documents from the Xth National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam affirm: “Followers of different religions are an integral part of Vietnam’s great national unity. The Party consistently implements policies of respect and guarantees the people’s right to freedom of belief, the right of citizens to follow or not to follow a religion, and the right to take part in normal religious activities according to the law. The Party promotes unity of followers from different religions and the unity of followers of religion with non-followers. It encourages development of cultural values and strong ethics of religions and encourages religious followers and religious leaders to live "For better secular and religious life...". Lawful religious organizations must abide by the law and are protected by the law. Constructive programs in socio-economic development should be implemented to improve the material and cultural lives of religious followers; training and upgrading of cadre dealing with religious affairs should be enhanced; superstitious activities and behaviors that take advantage of belief and religion in order to harm the common welfare of the country or to violate the citizens’ freedom of religion should be prevented”.