The National Assembly’s Standing Committee discussed the draft Law on Belief and Religion during its 40th meeting on August 14.


Truong Thi Mai, Head of the NA Committee for Social Affairs speaks at the session.

Most members of the standing committee agreed on the necessity of issuing a law on belief and religion, given that belief and religion is one of the rights guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – to which Vietnam is a member.

Vietnam’s 2013 Constitution also affirms that the freedom to religion and belief is one of the fundamental and important human rights, and the promulgation of the law will institutionalise the Party’s viewpoint and policy in this field as well as realise the spirit and content of the 2013 Constitution, making domestic law compatible to international agreements and treaties to which Vietnam is a member, they said.

Nguyen Duc Hien, Head of the NA Standing Committee’s Ombudsman Committee, recommended the drafting group make a review of the current religious situation, especially State management in the field, in order to design more specific and clearer regulations in the law.

Concerning the scope of the law, most opinions emphasised the need to improve the section on belief in the draft law, which currently is too general and short.

Le Minh Thong, Deputy Head of the NA’s Law Committee, said the law needs to clarify the differences between concepts of belief and religion.

Truong Thi Mai, Head of the NA Committee for Social Affairs, said the draft needs to include the rights and responsibilities of Vietnamese and foreign nationalities living in Vietnam.

Deputies also called for more detailed stipulations on banned behaviours and practices in the field of belief and religion.