A ceremony to celebrate the Buddha's birthday was held at the Viet Nam Quoc Tu Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City on June 1, 2015. Tuoi Tre PrevNext

Vietnam respects and protects the people’s rights to belief and religious freedom all the time, through designing related policies and laws, Bui Thanh Ha, deputy head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, has said.

A multi-religion nation, Vietnam has 24 million religious followers, or 27 percent of its population, Ha said at a seminar organized in Hanoi on Thursday to discuss policies and laws ensuring belief and religious freedom in the country, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

Approximately 95 percent of the Vietnamese population follow a belief or religion, Ha told the event, which was attended by more than 100 representatives from state agencies and embassies of European Union member states in Vietnam, foreign experts and religious dignitaries.

One day after Vietnam declared independence, President Ho Chi Minh on September 3, 1945 announced that religious freedom, solidarity among religious and non-religious people, and citizens’ rights to belief and religious freedom were part of the state’s principles, Ha said.

The 2013 Constitution of Vietnam also stipulates that the rights to belief and religious freedom are one of the basic human rights, he added.

Focusing on the protection of religious freedom in Vietnam and contributions of religions to national construction, the seminar aimed to provide a panorama of the religious situation in the Southeast Asian country and devise a roadmap to improve legislation related to religion and beliefs.

Participants discussed Vietnam’s achievements in ensuring and promoting belief and religious freedom, as well as the building of its legal framework in this field.

They also concentrated on Vietnam’s international commitments to protecting and promoting human rights in terms of religious freedom.

The EU members shared their experience in safeguarding religious freedom and values at the event as well.

Tuoi Tre News - October 9, 2015