Vietnam’s Law on Belief and Religion ‘deeply flawed’

By Imogen Faux | World Watch Monitor

Vietnam’s National Assembly finally ratified (on 18 Nov.) its Law on Belief and Religion amid extensive criticism from parliamentarians, human rights and religious groups, who deem it to be below international standards for human rights.

The Vietnamese government says that the law, the first of its kind in the socialist republic, will optimise the administration of religious affairs, reported UCA News. But rights groups and lawmakers fear this to be a move to restrict religious freedoms rather than protect them.

The law has been widely criticised throughout the lengthy drafting process, with some 50 civil society organisations, including Amnesty International and Christian Solidary Worldwide, joining their voices with ASEAN Parliamentarians to denounce the nine-chapter-long draft law earlier this year.