Human rights groups urge Vietnamese government to revise draft religion law

By Jardine Malado | Christian Today

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and 50 civil society organizations and religious groups in Vietnam urged the government to to comply with international human rights laws by revising the draft of the Law on Belief and Religion.

The various groups signed a joint statement addressed to Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, President of the National Assembly of Vietnam. In the letter, the concerned groups acknowledged that there have been some improvements in the nine-chapter draft law but some restrictions have been found to be in conflict with religious freedom.

The letter pointed out that religious organizations that did not register with the Vietnamese government have no legal safeguards when it came to conducting religious activities. It made the suggestion that registration should not be a prerequisite for the free exercise of religion.

The signatories asked the Vietnamese government to prohibit officials from arbitrarily interfering in matters involving religious organizations.