Foreign affairs of religion in 2011


 In 2011, many important events took place in our country.  This was the success of the 7th National Congress, the 8th election of the National Assembly and People's Council at all levels for the term from 2011 to 2016.


The interdisciplinary delegation led by Mr. Pham Huy Tho, Deputy Minister of the Government Committee for Religion Affair visited and worked in Iran.

2011 marked 20 years of performing the national construction program in the period of transition to socialism (Program in 1991). By 2011, it was also 25 years that Vietnamese people have carried out comprehensive reform initiated by the Communist Party. We have gained great achievements. This marks historical significance for both internal and external relationship.
In 2011, the world raised many problems, complexity. In foreign affairs in general and foreign religions in particular we have had appropriate policies to take advantage of opportunities, to respond effectively to these challenges in order to successfully implement the government’s foreign policies. Foreign affairs of religion of the Government Committee for Religious Affair and international religious activities took place dramatically in 2011. This helps to carry out well opening policy of the Party and the Government of Vietnam in renovation and international integration with the spirit for the shake of national interests, ethnicity, and Socialist Republic of Vietnam’s prosperity.
Foreign affairs of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs
International integration in all fields brings about our country many opportunities, especially effectively taking advantage of external resources. Integration in economy and in other areas including religion will create greater opportunities to access advanced knowledge of humanity to increase levels of interlocked interests. This will helps our country become integral parts of the region and the world. Vietnam will take higher position in economy, politic and culture of the world.
International integration in all fields also gives us the ability to take advantage of interaction, additionally mutual integration in each field. Identify the specific objectives of the foreign policy of the Party, in 2011 the Government Committee for Religious Affair organized and implemented the following diplomatic activities:
- Organization of interdisciplinary team led by the Government Committee for Religious Affair visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Iran to learn about Islam and Islamic culture 
- The Government Committee for Religious Affair visited and worked in Lao People's Democratic Republic to discuss religious work; attended the seminar on "Religion and Jurisdiction " in the United States, visited and worked with the Ministry of Ritual and Religion of the Kingdom of Cambodia to assess the performance of the terms in the MOU signed in 2007 and discussed towards a cooperative agreement.
- Participating in the interdisciplinary delegation in Australia to discuss Human Rights between Vietnam and Australia; visiting in the United States to discuss with the American government
- Greeting and working with the Ministry of Religion of Brunei.
Besides the official visit of the Government Committee for Religion Affair, the work relating to human rights issues, foreign affairs of the Committee includes:
Coordinating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to greet, work with Independent experts, Rapporteur of the United Nations on issues of ethnicity, poverty; coordinating with Deputy Chief of Bureau of Labor- Human Rights - Democracy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United States, coordinating with the Union of Vietnam friendship Organizations, ministries and agencies working with the Institute for Global engagement (IGE); holding an international seminar on "Development of Protestant from 1975 to the present,  holding the third "international Conference on" Religion and Rule of Law " in Vietnam, in collaborating with Vietnamese-American Association, Institute for Global engagement (IGE), local governments of the provinces: Bac Kan and Tuyen Quang, Dien Bien to hold three conferences to propagate and train the guidelines and policies of the Party and the Government for Protestants on the basis of the six articles of the Memorandum.
- Participating in the delegation of the Committee on Nongovernmental organizations overseas to the U.S., the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Netherlands in order to mobilize non-government organizations and foreign aid to Southern of Vietnam.
- Participating international meetings such as: Greeting the Sri Lanka Embassy, European Union (EU), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; working with the American Assistant Parliamentarians, British Parliamentarians, the representatives of "Jehova Witnesses, the Church of Latter-day Saints of Jesus fellow-believer '" non-resident envoy of the Vatican; attending the National Day celebration of some countries which have diplomatic relations with Vietnam.
International activities of religious organizations and individuals in 2011
 In 2011, the Government Committee for Religious gave permission prescribed by law for more than 100 dignitaries and monks of the religious organizations in Vietnam to foreign countries to attend courses and make international activities related to religion. They also solved procedures for foreign delegations including many dignitaries and followers of religions in Vietnam to participate in religious activities in Vietnam. Specifically, in 2011, Archbishop Envoy Leopoldo Girelli- non-resident envoy of the Vatican in Vietnam had gone to Vietnam 5 times. He visited a number of agencies at central and local areas, participated pastoral activities in 116 parishes, 26 dioceses in 38 provinces and cities.
Mr. Nguyen Thanh Xuan, deputy head of the Government Committee for Religious Affair met non-resident envoy of the Vatican - Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli at the offices of the Government Committee for Religious
The Government Committee for Religious Affairs and the Vietnam Buddhist Shangha chose delegates to see the exhibition of artifacts of the Vietnam Buddhist Shangha in the international exhibition on Buddhism in Sri-lan-ca. The delegates attended the international seminar on Buddhism and Reconciliation in Singapore according to the invitation of the religious organizations for Peace, attended the Global Conference of Buddhism in India. The Government Committee for Religious Affairs, the Permanent Mission of Vietnam in the United Nations and the Vietnam Buddhist Shangha chose Buddhist dignitaries and delegations to attend celebrations of 2,600 years of the Buddha and the Buddha's birthday celebration in the United States in 2011.
Assert the policies for the freedom of religious beliefs, religion of the Party and Vietnam government
Diplomacy activities of religion in general and activities in Vietnam in particular in 2011 affirmed Vietnam's position in the international arena through regional forums, official visits of the Party and the Government of Vietnam with countries around the world. Innovated Foreign policy of the Party and the Government of Vietnam, had obtained many important results, which helped to expand relations with other countries, with the leading countries in the world. By these activities we also could take advantage to develop society and economy, financial aid from developing countries and the financial organizations. Thanks to the activities, we can maintain the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In 2011 the State’s achievement in foreign affairs in general, the Government Committee for Religious Affairs’s achievement in religion not only helped religious organizations to maintain normal relation with religious organizations in the region and the world, but also made clear policies to expand relations activities and international exchange of people, thus contributing positively to the construction and development of Vietnam in the current period. Through external religious activities and international activities in 2011 of the religion as well as openness in the policies, religious freedom in Vietnam, many foreign individuals, international organizations and a number of countries in the world recognize that the Party and the Government of Vietnam Communist Party have increasingly implemented and ensured freedom of belief and religion for people, so that all religions can coexist peacefully in the great national unity of Vietnam.
By these visits and working between the Government Committee for Religious Affair and other countries as well as a number of countries and international organizations come to Vietnam to learn religion in Vietnam, it is an opportunity for us to introduce religious situation in Vietnam as well as policy ensuring the freedom of belief and religion of the Party, the government, the results, the achievements in religious work in many years. The Government of Vietnam always respects and is committed to protecting religious freedom, religious people, and constantly improving the legal system of belief and religion in order to meet the needs of belief, religious for people as well as foreigners who are living and working legally in Vietnam, to promote the strength of national unity, to make Vietnam more developed. In the dialogue on human rights and religion between Vietnam and some countries in the world, the Government of Vietnam has made efforts in ensuring freedom of belief, religion and human rights. This was evaluated by the Council of the United United Nations. In the dialogue about human rights, religion, the dignitaries and the religious organizations in Vietnam had a chance to talk about policy of religious freedom. Through the dialogue, it is also a chance to for the dignitaries to exchange, to share experiences, knowledge and to learn about pastoral practice in religious activities.
The Government Committee for Religious Affairs’ Orientation of religion in 2012
- Implementing external policy of religion under the principle of ensuring national interests, national benefit. 
- Creating chances for believers and dignitaries, religious organizations to participate in international activities relating to religion. 
- Continuing to coordinate with related agencies to greet and work with international organizations and individuals who visit and work in Vietnam on issues relating to religion. 
Through external religious activities and international religious activities, the religious organizations assert its consistent policy of the Party and the Government that they always respect and ensure people’s freedom of religion, belief. All citizens have the right to choose belief and religion that they believe in. All the religions can operate under the law. Their activities must not affect the community’s unity, national security and social order. These will contribute to promote the image of Vietnamese country which is stable, developed, friendly and hospitable to friends in the world. /.