30/08/2015 11:01 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

US religious activists welcomed in Hanoi

Hanoi, August 29 (VNA) – The Government Committee for Religious Affairs held a discussion in Hanoi on August 28 with visiting Professor Mary Ann Glendon, Commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

At the session, Glendon expressed her pleasure to visit Vietnam at a time when the two countries are getting closer with a great deal of interest and deeper mutual understanding.

She noted that many things have changed since several USCIRF commissioners paid working visits to Vietnam in 2009, adding her delegation hopes to study changes and improvements in religious affairs in Vietnam.

Welcoming the US delegation, Deputy Head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs Bui Thanh Ha expressed his wish that the guests could stay longer in Vietnam to witness religious practices in the country so as to have a better understanding of and more accurate assessments on the field.

Regarding the draft Law on Belief and Religion, Ha said the law has been drafted for the fifth time and will be brought to the National Assembly for the first feedback collection.

As scheduled, the bill will be passed in October 2016 and by then, many discussions and workshops will be organised to make the draft law better.

He stressed that the law-making process is careful, close and time-consuming. The bill was thoroughly discussed by dignitaries and scientists as well as published on the Government portal to gather public opinions.

He specified that the draft Law on Belief and Religion has been built on the religious reality in Vietnam and the 2013 Constitution – the original law of Vietnam, along with international conventions and treaties that Vietnam is a signatory, and reference to legal regulations of other countries.

Vietnam is the third most religiously diverse country in the world, Ha said, adding that it is not simple at all to build legal documents that ensure religious freedom for all organisations and individuals.

He also clarified a number of questions from the USCIRF about the registration of religious practices in Vietnam as well as the State management in the field.