ASIA/VIETNAM - A new law on religions is being studied

Friday, 10 April 2015

Hanoi (Agenzia Fides) - The government of Vietnam is considering the possibility of reforming the law regulating religious communities in the country: according to some representatives of Christian Churches, government officials are working on the draft of the new law on religion, which should replace Decree n.92 approved in 2013.
According to local Christian leaders, the new law should have a more open approach and reduce restrictions which are currently in force. According to some sources, there will be more tolerant requirements with regards to the official recognition of religious communities.
"For example, while the old decree only allows the recognition of churches and communities that have existed for over 20 years, in the new text, the term will drop to 10" said, in a note sent to Fides, a Vietnamese Protestant Pastor. "Somehow the authorities realize that it would be an advantage to start practicing some tolerance towards religions", he added.
According to some forecasts, the new law, considered a significant step of reform, could be completed in May and be enacted in autumn. According to the "World Watch List" of the organization Open Doors, which monitors religious freedom, Vietnam ranks 16th place in the ranking of 50 countries that violate rights and commit abuses on believers. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 10/04/2015)