Hoa Binh province recorded nearly 20 cases of religion-related wrongdoings in 2023 and the first two months of 2024. However, thanks to their active and effective engagement, relevant agencies and religious organisations have helped the provincial and district-level People’s Committees deal with those cases in a timely manner and in line with legal regulations, thus ensuring religious freedom.

 Local agencies, Party committees, and administrations present bicycles to disadvantaged students in Muong Riec Parish in My Thanh commune, Lac Son district, in the 2023 - 2024 school year.

Conditions created for religions to be practiced in line with law

Three religions are present in Hoa Binh at present, namely Buddhism, Catholicism, and Protestantism, with more than 48,000 followers, accounting for about 5.9% of the total population. The religions are practiced in 99 of the 151 communes, wards, and townships in all the 10 district-level localities.

In terms of Buddhism, the province has more than 26,000 followers, one provincial executive board of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS), four district-level VBS executive boards, and nine pagodas, according to the provincial Department of Home Affairs.

In terms of Catholicism, there are over 21,000 followers and eight parishes covering 70 communes, wards, and townships of all the 10 district-level localities. There are also seven churches of parishes and six others of clans.

Meanwhile, there are about 100 Protestants following many different sects. Despite the small number of followers, local authorities have still created favourable conditions for them to practice their religion at home.

Nguyen Dinh Tu, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Home Affairs, said that generally speaking, religious followers trust the Party’s guidelines and the State’s policies and law while complying with local regulations. All-level Party committees and administrations have paid constant attention to and created conditions for religions to be practiced in line with legal regulations.

Religious and belief-related activities are basically stable and comply with law, he noted, adding that over the past years, there have been no such things as abusing belief or religion to sabotage the administration, inciting people to crowd to cause disorder, or breaking rules on religious affairs.

Priest Nguyen Trung Thoai, who is in charge of Hoa Binh Parish, said following the Government’s decree, the National Assembly Standing Committee’s ordinance, and the Law on Belief and Religion, religious activities have taken place stably and been facilitated by the local Party committee and administration.

Guiding religious followers towards good secular, religious life

Over the recent past, executive boards of religions in the province have also properly instructed followers to lead a good secular and religious life.

Priest Thoai said followers have been encouraged to do good deeds. Thanks to the local Party committee and administration’s attention, more than 3,000 followers in Hoa Binh Parish have gained favourable conditions to practice their religion freely and in accordance with law.

Tu noted that by properly disseminating legal regulations on belief and religion, religious dignitaries and followers in Hoa Binh have maintained their trust in the Party’s guidelines and the State’s policies and laws, stayed united, adhered to local regulations, and actively engaged in charitable activities.

In addition, religious organisations and followers have taken part in the fight against the abuse of religious affairs to sabotage the Party and State, illegal missionary work and crimes. They have also participated in the ensuring of local political security and social order and safety, as well as the prevention of complex religion-related problems from occurring.

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