Insuppressible truth

Insuppressible truth


Since its foundation in 1945, Vietnam - a law governed socialist country - has consistently pursued the policy of freedom of belief and religion in order to strengthen national unity and to maximize national strength for the cause of country construction and protection.

The right to freedom of belief and religion is prescribed in Clauses 1 and 2, Article 24 of the 2013 Constitution of Vietnam. Specifically, it says, "1. Everyone has the right to freedom of belief and religion, and has the right to follow any religion or to follow no religion. All religions are equal before law; 2. The State shall respect and protect the freedom of belief and religion".

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited the Khmer Theravada Buddhist Academy in Can Tho on April 7 on the occasion of Chol Chnam Thmay, the traditional Khmer New Year festival. In the photo: President Nguyen Xuan Phuc presents a souvenir to the Khmer Theravada Buddhist Academy. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA 


That being said, the Vietnamese government adheres to the policy of respecting and creating favorable conditions for everyone to exercise their right to freedom of religion and belief and does its best to ensure such rights as well as equality between religions.



To ensure that religious activities adhere to the rules of law, the XIV National Assembly passed the Law on Belief and Religion on November 18, 2016. Following that, the government signed into effect Decree No. 162/2017/ND-CP detailing a number of articles and measures to implement the law. 


In addition, activities related to religion such as, the education and training of religious dignitaries and constructing religious establishments and charity and social welfare activities. There are also regulations in relevant laws such as the Civil Law, the Land Law, the Heritage Law and the Education Law.

These legal frameworks aim to improve the practice of freedom of religion and belief in Vietnam. It is estimated that 95% of Vietnam's population has a belief or a religious life. 


In Vietnam, there are 16 religions with 43 organizations recognized by the government. These include Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Cao Dai, Hoa Hao Buddhism, Islam, Baha'I, Tinh Do Buddhist Association, Seventh-day Adventist, Tu An Hieu Nghia Buddhism, Minh Su Dao, Minh Ly Dao - Tam Tong Mieu, Brahmanism, Mormonism, Buddhism of Hieu Nghia Ta Lon and Buu Son Ky Huong. 

 A ceremony of Cao Dai followers in Tay Ninh Holy See. Photo: VNP


More than 26.5 million people in Vietnam follow at least one religion, accounting for 28% of the country's population. There are tens of thousands of worshipping establishments.

The government also encourages and facilitates international religious exchange and cooperation. As a matter of fact, Vietnam pays great attention to the expansion of international activities of religious organizations. Hundreds of trips to participate in religious activities abroad take place every year at both the delegate and individual levels. Many foreign dignitaries also come to Vietnam for religious activities.


The grave ceremony is one of traditional customs of the Cham Brahman ethnic people in Binh Thuan province to commemorate their ancestor. Photo: Nguyen Thanh/VNA

Vietnam has proactively informed interested countries and organizations through working sessions, bilateral and multilateral forums and regular human rights dialogue channels with the US, EU, Australia and Norway, of religious activities and the implementation of freedom of belief and religion in Vietnam.

Parallel to ensuring the right to freedom of belief and religion, Vietnam resolutely fights against acts of religion and belief abuse, affecting the interests of individuals and organizations in society.

For example, recently, illegal activities using religion and belief content have appeared, such as Ha Mon, Tan Thien Dia, Church of God the Mother, that go against Vietnamese traditional culture, tinged with superstition that show signs of profiteering. Some are activities of opposition organizations such as "The Friendship Association of Vietnamese Political and Religious Prisoners", “The Opposition of Hoa Hao Buddhism", "The Office of Justice & Peace of the Redemptorist Order of Ho Chi Minh City" and "Brotherhood for Democracy".

In order to ensure the rule of law of the State and protect the rights and interests of organizations and individuals in society, the state has prosecuted those who violated the law.

Religious activities are regulated by law, which is a fact in any country in the world. Vietnam always shows goodwill and openness in exchanging and providing information of religious and belief activities in Vietnam to countries and organizations interested in human rights issues. Vietnam is even inviting international organizations to the country to witness these efforts as well as positive changes in Vietnam in ensuring the right to freedom of belief and religion.


  • Story: Phong Thu - Hong Hanh
  • Photos: VNP & VNA
  • Designer: Trang Nhung