A vivid picture of religious freedom in Vietnam

Chia sẻ
(VOVWORLD) - Vietnam is a multi-religion country. People of all religions are free to practice their religious rituals and beliefs in a stable, harmonious, equal and consistent environment in accordance with the law. In recent days, Khmer people in the south are celebrating the Chol Chnam Thmay New Year festival. The vibrant practice of religious activities in Vietnam are clear evidence of freedom of religion and belief in Vietnam.
A vivid picture of religious freedom in Vietnam - ảnh 1

In 2003, Vietnam had 15 organizations of 6 religions with 17 million religious followers. As of November, 2023, the State recognized and granted an operating license to more than 40 organizations of 16 religions with 27 million followers, accounting for 27% of Vietnam's population.

Equality between religions is ensured

Among the 27 million religious followers, the Catholic community is growing strongly. Its 7.2 million parishioners account for 7% of Vietnam’s population. There are 9,000 Catholic religious establishments in Vietnam. Dak Lak province has allocated more than 11,000 square meters of land to the Buon Ma Thuot diocese to build churches. Da Nang city has allocated more than 9,000 square meters to the Da Nang diocese. Quang Tri province has allocated an additional 15 hectares to La Vang parish.

A vivid picture of religious freedom in Vietnam - ảnh 2 Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations (behind) and Archbishop Marek Zalewski, Resident Representative at a Prayer Mass at St Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

During his visit to Vietnam from April 9 to April 14, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations, praised the development of the Vietnamese Catholic Church and its active participation in social movements. He expressed his belief that the Vietnamese Catholic community will continue to make contributions to national development.

Buddhism has the largest number of followers in Vietnam. There are more than 14 million Buddhist followers and more than 18,500 places of Buddhist worship in the country. Many pagodas have been repaired and renovated. The number of people worshiping Buddha and taking refuge is growing. Buddhist festivals have attracted tens of thousands of people, such as the United Nations Vesak Celebrations in 2008, 2014, and 2019.

Most Venerable Thich Dong Hoa of Vinh Nghiem pagoda said: "It is not correct to say that Vietnam does not guarantee religious freedom. We are an example. We are foreign monks who received ordination in Vietnam and are studying and practicing in Vietnam. For the last 10 years I have never had any problems in practicing religion. We practice religion very freely, have the right to go to school, have the right to worship, and have the right to preach the Dharma."

Respect for diversity of religions among ethnic minorities

The State of Vietnam always respects and protects the religious activities of ethnic minorities. In the Central Highlands, the State pays attention to promoting traditional cultural beliefs and religious values and activities, creating conditions for religious organizations to renovate and repair worship facilities in accordance with the law to meet the legitimate needs of believers.

Pastor Ai Krol of the Ea Hiu Branch at Dak Lak Protestant Church said: "The local authorities at all levels have created favorable conditions for the Church. Everything is good. There are no obstacles. In previous years, we had a temporary church. Now, the authorities at all levels have facilitated us to build a beautiful, spacious church. Everyone is excited."

These days, Khmer people in Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, and Bac Lieu provinces are anticipating their traditional Chol Chnam Thmay festival. They are cleaning and redecorating their homes and artists are rehearsing performances of pentatonic musical instruments. Young men and women are practicing traditional dances to perform during the upcoming New Year festival.

Thach Minh Van of Soc Trang province said: "I’m very happy about celebrating the traditional New Year festival. People in my hamlet are happy. It’s is an opportunity for us to share our experience, live in a joyful atmosphere, and promote local development."

Diverse and rich religious activities in Vietnam show Vietnam’s undeniable achievements in promoting freedom of religion, thanks to the efforts of the entire political system and the consensus of religious people.