VN continues facilitating religious activities
07:20 | 23/02/2008
VNGOP – In addition to six religions and 16 religious organizations recognized by the State, the Government Committee for Religious Affairs (GCRA) has recently granted certificates for religious activities to 13 religious organizations, including six newly-established religions.

A Press briefing on religious affairs - Photo:VNGOP

According to the GCRA’s recently-issued outlook on religious situations in Việt Nam, in the Central Highlands, more than 90 percent of congregations of the General Confederation of the Việt Nam Protestant Church (Southern region) and nearly 200 congregations of other Protestant sects have been recognized and received certificates for religious activities.
A senior official of the GCRA, at a press conference in Hà Nội on February 21, said that besides local Buddhist basic and intermediate-level schools, four Buddhist Institutes of the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha are in effective operations. According to statistics from 40 out of 64 provinces and cities nationwide, last year, more than 4,300 people had finished and 9,000 other have been attending religious training courses.
Many religious books have also been published. In 2007, the Religion Publishing House produced 620 book titles for different religions, with 1.2 million copies, 180 other publications with 97,500 copies, and 30,000 bibles in the Bahna, Êđê and Gia Rai ethic languages. It also plans to publish bible in the Mông language.
About 70 percent of religious establishment have been granted land-use certificates. Religious rituals and ceremonies have been held in the country, especially celebrations of Buddha’s birthday, Christmas and Easter. Some religions have held congresses according to their charters and statutes.
About external relations activities of the GCRA in 2007, the official said the Committee welcomed and worked with a delegation of Vatican, a delegation of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. It also regularly met with representatives of foreign embassies to exchange information and provide them with exact information about the religious activities and implementation of religious policies in Việt Nam.
Representatives of religions in Việt Nam attended international religious forums, such as the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) interfaith dialogue in China, and the Asian-Pacific interfaith dialogue in New Zealand, he noted.

By Xuân Hồng

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