Nội dung toàn văn Decree No. 26/1999/ND-CP of April 19, 1999, on religious activities
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Hanoi, April 19, 1999
ON RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES
Pursuant to Article 70 of the 1992 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam;
Pursuant to the Law on Organization of the Government of September 30, 1992;
To ensure the freedom of belief and religion of citizens, creating conditions for religious organizations to operate according to law;
At the proposal of the Head of the Religion Commission of the Government,
Article 1.- The State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam ensures the freedom of belief and religion and the freedom of non-belief and non-religion.
Discrimination on belief and religious grounds is strictly forbidden.
Article 2.- Religious and non-religious citizens are equal before law, enjoy all citizen’s rights and have the responsibility to discharge all citizen’s obligations.
Article 3.- Religious activities must obey the law of the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Article 4.- Religious activities in the legitimate and lawful interests of the believers are assured.
Religious activities in the interests of the Motherland and the people are encouraged.
Article 5.- All acts of violation of the freedom of belief and religion, all acts of misusing belief and religion to oppose the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, prevent believers from discharging their citizen’s obligation, sabotage the cause of unity of the entire people, and harm the healthy culture of the nation, and all superstitious activities shall be dealt with according to law.
Article 6.- Every citizen has the freedom to embrace or not to embrace a religion and to quit or change his/her religion.
1. Religious believers have the right to carry out religious activities not contrary to the undertakings, policies and laws of the State, to conduct rites of worship and prayers at the family, take part in religious activities, study religious teachings and ethics, and attend to religious rites at the places of worship.
2. Religious believers must not misuse belief and religion to act in contravention of law and must not engage in superstitious activities.
1. Religious organizations which have set their principles, objectives and lines of activity, have an organizational structure conforming to law and are permitted to carry out their activities by the Prime Minister shall be protected by law.
2. Religious activities at the places of religious worship (sessions of prayers, ceremonies, sermons, study of religious preachings) which have been annually registered and are conducted within the enclosure of the places of worship shall not have to ask for permission.
3. Religious activities which are held beyond the enclosure of the places of worship or are not annually registered must have the permission of the competent State agency.
4. Religious organizations are entitled to raise their own financial resources from the voluntary support of individuals and organizations and from other sources of lawful income.
The organization of collections must be permitted by the President of the Provincial People’s Committee. Coercion of religious believers to contribute is strictly forbidden.
The management and use of the financial resources obtained from the above sources shall be conducted according to provisions of law.
5. Religious organizations which act contrarily to the principle, objective, line of worship and organizational structure permitted by the Prime Minister shall have their operations suspended. The individuals responsible for these violations shall be dealt with according to law.
Article 9.- Meditation sessions of priests in the diocese, or priests coming from various establishments and orders of Catholicism, the spiritualization of pastors and missionaries of Protestantism, and purification sessions of Buddhist bonzes and nuns, and similar religious activities of other religions shall be conducted according to regulations by the provincial-level State management agency on religion.
1. Congresses and conferences of religious organizations at national level or related to many provinces and centrally-run cities must be permitted by the Prime Minister.
2. Congresses and conferences of religious organizations at local level must be permitted by the President of the provincial People’s Committee.
1. The State protects the places of worship of religious organizations.
2. Religious organizations have the responsibility to preserve and recondition the places of worship.
3. Houses, land and other properties which have been transferred by religious organizations and individuals to State agencies for management and use in implementation of the policy of the State of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam and the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, or which have been offered or donated to the State, come under the ownership of the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
1. The repairs and reconstruction at the places of worship which have been classified as historic or cultural relics or places of scenic beauty shall comply with the stipulations of the "Ordinance on the protection and use of historical and cultural relics and places of scenic beauty" of March 31, 1984.
2. Minor repairs and retouches that do not change the structure or architecture of the construction at the places of worship shall be conducted by the worshipping establishment itself after notifying the President of the People�s Committee of the local commune.
3. Major repairs which change the structure or architecture of the construction at the places of worship, the restoration of worshipping places abandoned or destroyed by war, natural disasters, and accidents; the establishment of places of worship and the building of worshipping constructions (houses, statues, stelae, monuments, towers and other constructions for worshipping purposes) must be permitted by the President of the People’s Committee of provincial level.
4. The organization of collections to create financial resources for the building and repair of the place of worship must have the permission of the President of the People’s Committee of provincial level.
Article 13.- Normal religious practice is assured at the classified religious worshipping places as stipulated in the "Ordinance on the protection and use of historical and cultural relics and places of scenic beauty" of March 31, 1984.
1. The printing and publication of bibles and books and other religious publications, the production, business and export-import activities in religious cultural articles, products used in religious practice shall be carried out according to regulations of the State on printing, publication, production, business and import-export of cultural products and goods.
2. It is forbidden to print, produce, deal in, circulate and store books, magazines and cultural products with contents which oppose the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, which cause religious division, national division and disruption of solidarity among the people.
1. Religious dignitaries and priests have the right:
- To carry out their religious functions and roles within the domain of their responsibility which have been approved by the competent State agency;
- To be considered for reward by the State for services rendered to the building of the all-people solidarity, national construction and defense;
- To enjoy all political, economic, cultural and social interests of citizens.
2. Religious dignitaries and priests have the obligation:
- To carry out exactly their functions and roles in the domain of their religious responsibility already approved by the competent State management agency and have to bear responsibility before law for all their religious activities within this area of responsibility.
- To encourage the faithful to seriously execute the policies and laws of the State.
Article 16.- Persons assuming wrongfully the name of religious dignitaries and priests shall be sanctioned administratively or examined for penal liability.
Persons who are serving prison terms or who are under administrative probation are not allowed to carry out religious functions or roles. The restoration of the religious functions or roles of those who have completed the term of these sanctions must be proposed by the religious organization that manages them and approved by the competent State management agency.
1. Religious dignitaries and priests can conduct economic, cultural and social activities like any other citizen.
2. Religious dignitaries, priests and organizations shall conduct charity activities according to prescriptions of the State. The charity establishments sponsored by religious dignitaries, priests and organizations shall operate under the guidance of specialized State agencies.
1. The opening of schools to train religious dignitaries and priests must be permitted by the Prime Minister.
2. The organization and activities of the schools to train religious dignitaries and priests shall conform to the prescriptions of the Religion Commission of the Government and the Ministry of Education and Training.
3. The schools to train religious dignitaries and priests shall carry out the regulations, policies and laws of the State under the guidance, supervision and inspection of the specialized agencies of the State and the provincial People’s Committee.
1. Religious orders (or similar forms of collective religious practice) shall have to ask for permission and get the approval of the competent State agency to conduct their activities.
2. The admission of seminarists shall conform with stipulations of the Religion Commission of the Government.
1. The bestowal of religious titles of Venerable Bonze in Buddhism, Cardinal, Bishop and Curate in Catholicism and equivalent titles and posts in other religions must be approved by the Prime Minister.
2. The investing of religious dignitaries and priests not covered by Clause 1 of this Article must be approved by the President of the provincial People’s Committee.
Article 21.- The appointment and transfer of dignitaries and priests and professional religious activists including those elected by believers shall have to be approved by the President of the People�s Committee in charge of administrative management of the concrete area of operation of these persons.
1. Religious organizations and individuals shall have to report to the Religion Commission of the Government on the instructions of foreign religious organizations and individuals and shall carry out these instructions according to the agreement of the Religion Commission of the Government.
2. Religious dignitaries and priests who are invested, promoted and appointed by foreign religious organizations and individuals shall have to be approved by the Prime Minister.
Article 23.- International activities of religious organizations and individuals shall have to comply with law and conform with the foreign policy of the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on the basis of respect for national independence and sovereignty, peace, stability, cooperation and friendship.
1. Religious organizations and individuals in the country that want to invite foreign religious organizations and individuals into Vietnam must have the approval of the Religion Commission of the Government.
2. Organizations and individuals in the country that take part in the membership of foreign religious organizations or in religious activities or activities related to religions in foreign countries must comply with the regulations of the Religion Commission of the Government.
1. Foreigners who legally reside in Vietnam are allowed to carry out religious activities according to Vietnamese law. The gathering into separate groups to conduct religious activities at the place of worship must be permitted by the President of the provincial People’s Committee.
2. Foreign organizations and individuals including religious organizations and individuals that enter Vietnam to conduct activities outside the religious domain are not allowed to organize and operate or take part in organizing and operating religious activities and to propagate religion.
1. Aid activities of foreign religious organizations or related to foreign religions shall have to conform with the current policy and regime of aid management and to go through the agencies entrusted by the Vietnamese Government with managing aid.
2. Religious organizations and individuals in the country that want to receive purely religious aid must ask for permission from the Prime Minister.
Article 27.- This Decree replaces Decree No. 69/HDBT of March 21, 1991 of the Council of Ministers (now the Government) and takes effect 15 days after its signing. The earlier stipulations which are contrary to this Decree are now annulled.
Article 28.- The ministers, the heads of ministerial-level agencies, the heads of the agencies attached to the Government, the presidents of the People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities shall have to implement this Decree.
Article 29.- The head of the Religion Commission of the Government shall guide, promote and inspect the implementation of this Decree.