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Việt Nam consistently respects, ensures right to religious freedom

Việt Nam pursues a consistent policy of protecting and promoting human rights, respecting and ensuring the right to religious and belief freedom, which is clearly stipulated in the country’s Constitution and laws, and is enforced in reality, deputy spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Đoàn Khắc Việt said.

He made the affirmation at the ministry’s regular press conference on Thursday in reply to reporters’ question about Việt Nam’s reaction to the 2021 report of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom which accused Việt Nam of violating religious freedom.

According to the deputy spokesperson, an estimated 95 per cent of the Vietnamese population engage in belief and religious activities, including more than 25 million followers of different religions (27 per cent). Catholics alone number more than 7 million and Protestants, over one million.

Việt stressed that the Vietnamese State creates favourable conditions for religious people and organisations to engage in international exchanges and cooperation, adding that the religious life in Việt Nam is diverse and lively. Việt Nam’s efforts and achievements in ensuring the right to religious and belief freedom of its people have been recognised widely in the international community, he said.

“Việt Nam notes that the 2021 International Religious Freedom Report of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom had mentioned Việt Nam’s efforts and positive developments in ensuring and promoting the religious and belief life, but the report still made several partial and biased assessments based on inaccurate information on the religious situation in Việt Nam,” the deputy spokesperson said.

He went on to say that in Việt Nam, acts that took advantage of the right to religious freedom to violate the law are handled in accordance with Vietnamese laws.

He affirmed that Việt Nam is willing to discuss with the US issues of mutual concern in the spirit of frankness, openness and mutual respect, thus contributing to promoting the comprehensive partnership between the two countries. – VNS