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Vietnam: Christians anxious as a controversial law regarding religion may be passed in the country


Vietnamese Christians

Buddhists and Christians in Vietnam, become anxious as a controversial religious bill to come under discussion in the Parliament.

According to details, Vietnam’s parliament will be debating over a controversial new law regarding religion. According to this law, the Vietnamese government will have a free hand to carry out crack downs against Christians and Buddhists in Vietnam.

Leaders of Christians and Buddhists in the country express apprehension in Ho Chi Minh, a city of Vietnam. These religious leaders fear that if the law be passed by the parliament, the government will get a legitimate right to conduct crackdown against the religious communities. Along with this, this law will also permit such measure which may chip away at the growth of various religions specially Christianity.

Moreover, in coming days, a fifth adaptation of the controversial law’s draft will come under discussion, in the upcoming session of the National Assembly of Vietnam. Furthermore, the government of Vietnam has shown an inclination towards this law as a pretext that it is necessary for the national security. However, various rights groups are of the opinion that this law will serve as a channel to regulate and monitor the growth of religious movement in the Vietnam.

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However, in this regard a report was published in a Vietnamese magazine “Law and Legal Forum Magazine,” which is a state media publication. A representative of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, Nguyen Khac Huy stated that the law was intended to “concretize” the constitutional right to religious freedom of the citizens of Vietnam. “At the same time, it seeks to strengthen discipline and responsibility in belief and religious activities of religious organizations and competent state agencies,” he wrote.

Moreover the report pointed out to various serious factors including limitation that the religious communities would be facing in the law is passed. Nguyen Khac Huy, further stated, “The limitations on religious freedom, he wrote, will come in cases of necessity for the reasons of national defence, national security, public order, social ethics, and community well-being.”

In this regard, a Buddhist leader in Ho Chi Minh, who is also a member of the interfaith council of Vietnam, told the media in an interview that “To the outside world, Vietnam allows freedom to follow any religion, but it’s not true. The government wants to toughen the law it’s like tightening the noose.”