US Recognizes Religious Freedom in Viet Nam

Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Le Dzung affirmed the country’s consistent policy of respecting and ensuring its citizens’ rights to freedom of belief and religion as well as their rights not to follow any belief or religion.

Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, where many Christians go to worship (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

The spokesman asserted this Monday while answering reporters’ question on Viet Nam’s reaction to the 2006 Religious Freedom Report released by the US Department of State which said “Viet Nam has made enormous progress on religious freedom.”

The spokesperson answered, “We have repeatedly made it clear that Viet Nam’s consistent policy is to respect and ensure its citizens' rights to freedom of beliefs and religion and the rights to freedom of non-beliefs or religion.”

“Viet Nam’s constitution and other legal documents, especially the Ordinance on Religion and Beliefs, have systematically set fundamental rights and obligations of Vietnamese citizens on freedom of beliefs and religion with a view to facilitating religious activities. The State cares for and facilitates the development of religions in Viet Nam. Religious activities of believers and religious officials are being carried out normally.”

“Recently, the relationship between Viet Nam and the United Stated has seen positive progress. The two countries share common interests in strengthening the bilateral cooperation within the framework of a sustainable and stable partnership. Although there remain several differences in the bilateral relations, the two countries have retained frank and open dialogues on matters of mutual concern to narrow differences including those on religious issues.”

“Through bilateral exchanges and talks, the US side has obtained better understanding of the religious situation in Viet Nam. Accordingly, although there are unfair remarks, the report by the US Department of State has noted enormous progress in the religious situation in Viet Nam.”

“Viet Nam hopes that the United States will make a right decision to remove Viet Nam out of the list of ‘countries of particular concerns’. Such a decision will accurately reflect Viet Nam’s reality in accordance with the principles in the Viet Nam-US relationship and positive progress in the bilateral relations during the past years.”

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