Conference "Implementation of law on belief and religion in Vietnam at present"

Tuesday - 23/04/2019 04:41
The Conference was co-held by USSH, VNU Hanoi and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (Brigham Young University) (USA) on April 20th, 2019.

Prof.Dr Nguyen Van Kim (USSH's Vice Rector) delivers the opening speech

Since January 2018, the Law on Belief and Religion has been being implemented in Vietnam through the Decree 162/2017/ NĐ-CP providing specific articles and measures for the implementation of the Law. This Decree has been exchanged and developed among scientific and management bodies, and contains legal contents related to 07 articles of the Law. In reality, the Decree has been used to regulate social and religious affairs in Vietnam. 

In that context, the strong research Group on Religion and Rule of law of Faculty of Political Science, USSH suggested holding the Conference in order to study experiences in implementing the law on religion and belief in Southeast Asian countries and Vietnam, thereby promoting the positive effects of the Law and identifying problems that may arise when it is implemented.

In his opening speech, Prof.Dr Nguyen Van Kim (USSH's Vice Rector) highly appreciated the initiative and role of the strong research Group on Religion and Rule of law led by Prof.Dr Do Quang Hung in actively contributing to the perfection of the State's policies on religion; and studying and evaluating the implementation of the Law on belief and religion in practice.

After a period, the Law on Religion and Belief has had positive impacts on religious life as a whole. Up to now the State of Vietnam has approved and granted licenses for 43 organizations belonging to 16 religions with over 26 million followers, nearly 56 thousand dignitaries, over 145 sub-dignitaries and over 29 thousand places of worship. Government bodies allow these organizations to hold training courses in theocratic and religious laws and doctrines for over 18 thousand people.

The Law on Religion and Belief has helped ensure religious activities are conducted legally; the positive ethical values of religions are promoted in social life. Religious organizations actively particiate in organizing social movements, developing new rural areas, protecting the environment and responding to climate change. The international affairs of these organizations are strengthened, helping to gather Vietnamese religious followers overseas to come back to contribute to their homeland. Both religious and non-religious Vietnamese can enjoy the positive effects of the Law within its legal framework.

The Conference tackled two big themes: one was the methods of and experiences in implementing legal documents related to religious affairs in countries around the world, especially in Southeast Asia; the other was the analysis and evaluation of the contents and possibilities for implementation as well as the practical effects of the Decree on religion and belief in Vietnam, and the preliminary results and potential issues of the Law on Religion and Law. 

The Conference focused on the following purposes: analyze the meaning of cooperation in religious studies; clarify the theoretical and practical values of religious studies; point out the current issues in religious studies, the potential for cooperation in religious studies and the relevant issues such as religion and the rule of law and the law on religion and belief; share and transfer experiences and knowledge between academic and management bodies regarding religion, in order to further promote the innovation of the Party and State's religious policies and lines.  

Author: Thanh Ha

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