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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 12/02/2015, 00.00

    VIETNAM

    For Vietnamese religious leaders, new law is "a step backward” in terms of religious freedom

    Ngoc Thanh

    ​A proposed law on religious practices continues to fuel controversy. For the government, it "enshrines" the right to religious freedom. For its critics, the bill does not entail any rights. In fact, it enshrines government control over religion. For Vietnamese cardinal, the authorities’ openness is phoney.

    Hanoi (AsiaNews) – Vietnam’s government and the leaders of the country’s main religious groups continue to spar over a proposed law on religions and faiths, which Vietnam’s legislature should approve by the end of this year or early next year.

    The draft bill has met with strong opposition from Caodaists and Catholics. Mgr Micae (Michael) Hoang Duc Qanh, bishop of Kontum, has come out strongly against it. In a letter to the National Assembly, the prelate described the proposed legislation as a blatant "violation of the right to religious freedom."

    Vietnam’s National Assembly discussed the Belief and Religion Law at its last meeting on 20 November. For the government, the law "enshrines" the right to practice religion, a right inherent in human beings even if it is not inherent in citizens.

    Catholic leaders and the representatives of other faiths have reacted negatively to the proposal, expressing their strong opposition.

    Critics say the law is full of constraints on, for example, registering places of worship, staff, activities, postings, programmes (which one-year prior approval), making any faith-based activity impossible.

    Thang Nguyen Dinh, a Vietnamese-American who heads a group called ‘Vietnamese Boat People’, notes that religious leaders are strongly opposed to the bill because it is "a step backwards in terms of rights and freedoms."

    The Inter-faith Council of Vietnam, which represents the country’s five main religious denominations, is also clear on the matter. Individual “rights and freedoms are not included in the draft law on religions."

    For their part, the authorities disagree, claiming that the bill protects individual religious rights and freedoms. "The law on religions is progressive,” said Tan Duong Ngoc, number two in the government committee on religion, “because it recognises religious organisations, and grants them broad freedom.”

    For historian and draft co-author Hung Quang Do, the law "broadens the areas of freedom", allows “prisoners to worship” in their cell, and gives various religions "legal status" by limiting state intervention.

    However, doubts remain. For researcher Tran Thi Lien, "the Communist Party of Vietnam still rules, and this law reflects its desire to limit the impact of religion on society. That is why the Communist government has always sought to dominate the clergy and religions."

    Similarly, Card Phêrô (Peter) Nguyen Van Nhon, archbishop of Hanoi and representative of the Vietnamese Bishops' Conference, recently told French daily Le Monde, "On the one hand, the Vietnamese government has expressed openness toward religion, but on the other, they have proposed a rule that is a clear step backward from the progress made in the past."

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    See also

    21/08/2015 VIETNAM
    Hanoi ignores Caodaists and Catholics who criticise new religious bill for violating human rights
    Proposed new legislation fails to grant religions any status or recognise the right to freedom of religion. Adversarial in their attitude, the authorities view religions suspiciously, and want to regiment their actions through legal restrictions. Caodaist and Catholic religious leaders publicly slam the draft bill, but Vietnam’s National Assembly is unmoved by critics and alternative proposals.

    30/08/2016 14:25:00 VIETNAM
    Vietnamese government speeds up approval of new religious law

    A new bill was drafted in mid-August, but has not yet been released. The authorities want to approve it this year. A Buddhist leader and a Catholic praised the law at a Patriotic Front meeting. However, critics continue to slam the draft for its restrictions on the activities of religious communities.



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    Pakistan: Christians and Muslims divided on "State sermons"

    The Provincial Assembly of Sindh wants to introduce a law to control the preaching of the ulema. The sermons will be released only if previously approved by the government. All Islamic parties oppose the draft. The Catholic Church points out the pros and cons. "The new law will curb sectarianism," but "in the future we may also be asked to register our homilies".



    28/10/2011 INDONESIA
    Religious tolerance bill creates news problems in Indonesia
    Parliament and government submit draft bill to solve confessional conflicts, which have flared up in recent years. However, the proposal has generated a heated debate among scholars and in civil society. Bishops call for “a law that guarantees the right to practice one’s faith”.

    24/05/2012 VIETNAM
    Vietnamese Catholic activists on trial for "propaganda against the state"
    The four, charged under Article 88 of the Criminal Code, charged with distributing anti-government leaflets. They face a sentence ranging from three to 20 years in prison. In fact they are young people involved in social work, promoting Church programs and activities against abortion. HRW: Vietnam against freedom of religion and expression.



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